New York Rangers (29-16-0-1) vs. Detroit Red Wings (20-19-7-0)
When: 12:30 PM ET, Sunday, January 22, 2017
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Lines: NY Rangers -150 / Detroit +130
The Rangers get their come-back
The New York Rangers (29-16-1) needed a rousing win to boost their confidence after losing season-high three games in a row, and got just that in a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Thursday. Michael Grabner (21 goals, 29 points for the season) scored a shorthanded goal with 5:03 minutes left in the contest, adding an empty-net goal about two minutes later. Brady Skjei (2 goals, 19 points), Pavel Buchnevich (6 goals, 14 points) and J.T. Miller (15 goals, 33 points) were also on the score-sheet in the fixture that ended Toronto’s 3-game losing streak, which, incidentally, started with a win over the Rangers last Friday.
Goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who allowed 16 goals on 76 shots during New York’s recent losing skid and was pulled in his last outing against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, got a solid game under his belt, making 23 saves in total. He is 19-12-1 for the year so far with a 2.86 GAA and has gone 5-4-2 in previous meetings against Detroit with a 2.16 career GAA. The Rangers are sitting in the 8th place in the NHL with 59 points from 46 games and have a 16-7-0 road record. They are scoring the 2nd highest quantity of goals per game (3.50), allowing the 16th lowest amount on the defensive end (2.70). The Blueshirts have the 8th best power play with a 22.1% success rate and rank 14th in penalty kill with 81.9% efficiency.
The Wings get beaten in OT
It was a case of the worst power play unit in the NHL against the worst penalty killers in the league and a Nilsson versus a Nielsen in the Detroit Red Wings’ (20-19-7) 3-2 overtime loss against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Friday. Frans Nielsen (10 goals, 26 points for the year) opened the scoring during power play, shooting from the slot past Buffalo’s goalie Anders Nilsson in the first period. Darren Helm (5 goals, 8 points) netted on his return from a shoulder injury, which kept him out for 28 games since Nov. 15, canceling out the Sabres’ second-period power play equalizer just 2:13 minutes before the hosts tied the game 2-2 with 4:09 left on the buzzer. Eventually, Buffalo won the game with another goal during the man-advantage with just 26 seconds left in overtime after Frans Nielsen was penalized for hooking.
Goalie Petr Mrazek made 34 saves and has now gone 10-11-5 for the current campaign with a 3.13 GAA. His has faced the Rangers just once in the past, making 23 saves on 25 shots in the 3-2 victory for Detroit on Mar. 12, 2016. The Red Wings are currently 22nd in the league with 47 points from 46 games and are three points outside of a playoff berth with three extra games played. They are averaging the 8th lowest number of goals scored per game (2.48), allowing the 7th highest amount in their defensive zone (2.93). Detroit is 21st in penalty kill with 80.3% proficiency and still the very last in power play with an 11.5% success rate.
- Rangers are 5-1 in their last 6 road games.
- Rangers are 6-2 in their last 8 Sunday games.
- Red Wings are 2-8 in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Red Wings are 1-5 in their last 6 Sunday games.
The Red Wings have already beaten the Rangers 2-1 this season in New York, and, it seems, this will be an outing with which the Blueshirts will return the “favor”. Just before their loss in Buffalo, the Wings collected three straight home wins and finally looked quite comfortable on their own ice, where they have been struggling for the most part of the current campaign. The Rangers, though, are just too hot offensively at the moment. There is no way Detroit will be able to match New York’s scoring tally…