When Mika Zibanejad scored just 69 seconds into the game Wednesday night, you thought it was going to be one of those magical, fun nights at The Garden.
That was pretty much the end of the magic and fun, though.
The Rangers went 0-for-4 on the power play, failed to convert on several breakaways, and Henrik Lundqvist‘s misplay of a puck behind the net in the 3rd period led to the game-winning Detroit goal, as the Red Wings edged the Blueshirts, 2-1. Detroit backup goaltender Jimmy Howard made 32 saves for the win, in his first start of the season.
Zibanejad deflected a Ryan McDonagh shot past Howard just 1:09 into the 1st period, to give the Rangers an early 1-0 lead.
In the 2nd period, with Adam Clendening in the penalty box for a boarding penalty, Thomas Vanek scored a power play goal 6:15 into the period to tie the game, 1-1. Michael Grabner and Rick Nash each failed to score on breakaway chances during the period, and, despite out-shooting the Red Wings 27-14 in the first two periods, the game remained tied.
Then, early in the 3rd period, Lundqvist couldn’t clear the puck from behind the net. Luke Glendening passed the puck to Drew Miller, who scored his first goal of the season 59 seconds into the period, to give Detroit a 2-1 lead.
The Rangers’ power play, which had scored goals in two of the team’s first three games, went 0-for-4 on the night, which included a 54-second stretch of a 5-on-3 advantage in the 2nd period.
Lundqvist finished with 16 saves. Chris Kreider extended his scoring streak to four games with an assist on the Zibanejad goal.
The Rangers (now 2-2-0, 4 pts) play the Capitals in Washington Saturday night.