Preview: Red Wings at Rangers
The New York Rangers appeared to be picking up steam with three wins in a four-game stretch before their momentum came to a screeching halt following a horrific misstep against a struggling team. The Rangers bid to get back on track Wednesday when they host the reeling Detroit Red Wings.
Second overall pick Kaapo Kakko collected a goal and an assist to become the third 18-year-old to post a multi-point performance in Rangers' history, per NHL Stats and Information - but that was the one of the few bright spots on Monday. "We didn't respect our opponent enough. We just continued to dig ourselves a deeper hole," New York forward Chris Kreider told reporters of his team's 6-2 shellacking by an Ottawa club that had just nine points entering play Tuesday - the same as Detroit. The Red Wings, however, have dropped three in a row and 11 of their last 12 (1-10-1) after a getting gouged for five second-period goals in a 6-1 thumping by Nashville on Monday. "You've seen our record here in the last little bit, it's not great. It's frustrating," Detroit forward Dylan Larkin told the media. "You look at us on the ice, one thing goes wrong and we melt. We can't do that. We need to turn this around."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, TVA
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (4-11-1): Speedy Andreas Athanasiou scored early in the first period on Monday for his first goal in 18 games dating back to last season. The 25-year-old had no issue finding the net in three contests versus New York, scoring and setting up a goal in 3-2 wins on Nov. 9 and March 7 before tallying twice in another 3-2 triumph on March 19. That 3-2 decision has been the final result of each of the last five encounters between the teams, all victories by Detroit.
ABOUT THE RANGERS (5-6-1): Artemi Panarin, who has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 10 career meetings with the Red Wings, extended his point streak to five games (two goals, four assists) on Monday by converting on the power play for his team-leading sixth goal and 12th point. The 28-year-old Russian continues to make himself at home at Madison Square Garden with 20 points (12 goals, eight assists) in 14 career games. Defenseman Tony DeAngelo notched an assist on Panarin's second-period tally to boost his point total to seven (three goals, four assists) in his last six contests.
1. Detroit G Jimmy Howard sports a 10-3-3 record with a 1.77 goals-against average and .948 save percentage in 16 career encounters with New York.
2. The Rangers have scored the first goal of the game in eight of their 12 contests this season.
3. Red Wings C Valtteri Filppula has recorded four of his six points this season in his last five games.
PREDICTION: Red Wings 3, Rangers 2