Red Wings squander opportunities, lose 1-0 to Rangers
Adam Erne takes a shot over New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal in the second period at Little Caesars Arena Saturday night.
The Red Wings played much better on Saturday night than they did in the loss at Madison Square Garden Friday night. But the result was the same.
Detroit dropped a 1-0 decision to the New York Rangers on Friday after losing 4-2 to them on Friday.
The Wings couldn’t solve veteran star Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped all 33 shots he faced.
But he did not have to make a save on Detroit’s best two chances of the night, both off the stick of Valtteri Filppula, who was playing in his 1,000th NHL game.
Filppula was in alone on Lundqvist, made a move to his backhand and had a wide-open net for what looked like a sure goal. But his backhander along the ice hit the goal post. The puck lay there, with Lundquvist still down and out of the play. But Filppula then shot the rebound wide and across the crease.
“It sure would have been nice to score there, but it was a tough loss,” the understated Filppula said.
“It’s just right there. You groan. It’s happened to every player,” Dylan Larkin said about Filppula’s missed opportunities. “You’re hoping for a guy playing in his 1,000th game … If anyone deserves to have that go in, it’s him.”
Jonathan Bernier made 30 saves in his first game in three weeks as he returned from a lower-body injury.
“I actually felt rust in the first period,” Bernier said. “This is one of the games where you have to battle.”
He almost went save-for-save with Lundqvist, now 37, who has been one of the great goaltenders of his generation.
“Obviously I have a lot of respect for him,” Bernier said. “He’s been in the league a long time. A future Hall of Famer, for sure. It’s easy to get up for these games.”
The only shot came from Mika Zibanejad, on the power play with 7:47 left in the first period. Stationed to Bernier’s right, just off the crease, Zibanejad picked up a loose puck and shoveled a shot that trickled through Bernier’s pads.
The goal came with Justin Abdelkader off for roughing Rochester native and U-M alum Jacob Trouba in retaliation for his clean check on Detroit’s Adam Erne.
It was the Red Wings’ eighth consecutive loss (0-7-1), their third losing streak of at least eight games this season.
About playing in his 1,000th game, Filppula said: “I feel good and grateful that I’ve been able to play in the league and stay healthy for a long time.”
… Frans Nielsen was did not play because of an upper-body injury.