Buchnevich scores a pair in Rangers loss
The Rangers headed north from Dallas to Detroit to take on the Red Wings in an Original Six matchup in MoTown. The game had extra meaning for the home team as an organizational legend, Ted Lindsay, passed away earlier in the week. The Rangers put in a strong effort, but would ultimately fall in the shootout to Jeff Blashill’s club.
Pavel Buchnevich – Both Rangers goals came from the stick of the same young Russian forward, as Pavel Buchnevich scored two goals, in two different fashions, for the Blueshirts. For his first tally, Buchnevich kept firing the puck at Jimmy Howard before eventually hitting the back of the net on the third try.
Buchnevich’s encore was a combination of precision passing and smooth hands. Tony DeAngelo backhanded the puck off the boards to Brendan Lemieux in the neutral zone, where the newest Ranger backhanded a beautiful pass onto the tape of Buchnevich. The 23-year-old Russian finished the play by fighting off the defender and beating Jimmy Howard with a backhand move to tie the game in the third period.
Buchnevich played well alongside Brendan Lemieux and Brett Howden, and it would make sense for David Quinn to keep the trio together for the team’s next game on Saturday.
Chris Kreider – Perhaps the most notable thing from the Rangers in the third period and overtime, aside from the goal and some saves from Henrik Lundqvist, was Chris Kreider’s absence for the majority of the end of this game. Kreider had just three shifts in the third period and one in overtime, totalling just 3:14 of ice time. It’s possible Kreider was playing injured or sick, as defenseman Marc Staal has been dealing with the flu the last few days and it could be going around the locker room. But if it is neither of those things, David Quinn obviously saw something from Kreider’s game that he didn’t like in this one.
Brendan Smith – It’s been an up and down season for the veteran defenseman, but this is definitely an upswing for the former Red Wings blue-liner. Smith has been playing well since David Quinn has kept him in the lineup; whether as a forward or back in his natural role as a defenseman. Smith looked engaged in the game and he has earned the trust of David Quinn over the last few weeks. The best thing for the Rangers and Smith is for the Ontario native to continue performing like this so he can live up to the expectations that come with his multi-year contract.
Henrik Lundqvist – Had it not been for King Henrik, the Rangers don’t get this game to overtime. Lundqvist made 43 saves, including some absolute beauties, like this third-period masterpiece, to keep the Rangers alive. This was a “turn back the clock” game for Lundqvist, despite the end result.
Next Game: The Rangers return to The Garden on Saturday for the next installment of the Hudson River Rivalry. Puck drops at 7!
LET’S GO RANGERS!