Rangers, Red Wings on rolls heading into matchup

By Paul Harris, The Sports Xchange
Pavel Buchnevich, left, and the New York Rangers face the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Pavel Buchnevich, left, and the New York Rangers face the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

DETROIT -- The New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings are both rebuilding but have played well in their past few games.

Detroit hosts New York Friday night at Little Caesars Arena at 7:30.


The Rangers (7-7-1) have won four straight and the Red Wings (5-8-2) have four victories in their past five games. Also each team won Tuesday night after trailing by two in the second period. New York beat Montreal 5-3 at Madison Square Garden and Detroit defeated Vancouver 3-2 in a shootout at LCA.

The Rangers trailed the Canadiens 3-1 with less than three minutes left in the second, but defenseman Tony De Angelo scored late in the middle period and right winger Pavel Buchnevich, defenseman Neal Pionk and center Mika Zibanejad (short-handed) scored in the third.

"They definitely had the momentum ... we were able to reset going into the third," defenseman Marc Staal said.


That was also New York's second consecutive win after winning twice in California. Because of the time difference, teams usually struggle in their first game or two back from a west coast trip. The Rangers won 3-2 in a shootout in Anaheim last Thursday night.

"I love how we responded coming back from the trip and we win two hockey games here," Rangers coach David Quinn said. "It says a lot."

Said Staal: "We're on a bit of a roll. With wins comes confidence, finishing games."

The Red Wings trailed the Canucks 2-0 in the second period on Tuesday night. Forward Justin Abdelkader's power-play goal in the second made it 2-1 and Gustav Nyquist's tied it early in the third period. Center Dylan Larkin scored the only goal of the shootout.

"I think part of resilient is guys stepping and making plays at big moments," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "And for a goaltender, it's just making a whole bunch of saves and I thought Howie (goalie Jimmy Howard) was a big difference that way."

Howard made 40 saves against Vancouver and stopped all three shooters in the shootout.


The Red Wings seem like a totally different team than the one that began the season 1-7-2.

"Well ... we're bending not breaking I guess," Howard said. "Early in the season when stuff started to go wrong the body language was off and things really exploded on us and now guys are continuing to keep working."

Detroit is expected to get two forwards back from injury on Friday. Andreas Athanasiou (leg) and center Frans Nielsen (concussion) are expected to return after they each missed four games.

Larkin practiced Thursday after missing practice on Wednesday to recover from a minor injury suffered late in Tuesday night's game. He will play on Friday night.

It will be the second NHL game this season for Rangers center Lias Andersson, the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Andersson was recalled from Hartford for the game Tuesday against Montreal and played 12:17 on a line between Jimmy Vesey and Jesper Fast.

New York assigned forward Boo Nieves to Hartford of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

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