NEW YORK — The Detroit Red Wings showed something to build on Sunday, digging themselves out of a hole on the road to make a game of it against a talented Original Six rival.
Showing growth from previous seasons, the Wings rallied from an early deficit at Madison Square Garden to beat the New York Rangers in overtime, 3-2, for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Dominik Kubalik scored on a power play at 2:43 of overtime to improve the Wings to 7-3-2. Matt Luff and Pius Suter scored in the second period, and the Wings withstood a furious push by the Rangers in the third period.
Derek Lalonde made it clear before the weekend that his goaltenders would split the games. That meant Alex Nedeljkovic got his fifth start of the season Sunday following Ville Husso's turn Saturday in Detroit. Nedeljkovic was coming off a couple rough outings, having been in net in an 8-3 loss at Buffalo and a 6-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils. (In three of his starts, Nedeljkovic's save percentage was below .900.) Nedeljkovic denied Mika Zibanejad during an early Rangers power play. He had made a save on a Jason Trouba slapshot when the Rangers retained possession, and Moritz Seider came through with a block on Chris Kreider's attempt. Instead it was Kaapo Kakko, the No. 2 overall pick in 2019, who scored when he flung the puck from the slot, midway through the first period. Zibanejad succeeded on the Rangers' second power play, netting his sixth man-advantage goal of the season. Nedeljkovic had a strong third period, making 12 saves, and had 27 saves at the end of regulation.
It wasn't for lack of chances that the Wings came out of the first period down two goals. Kubalik tried to dent Jaroslav Halak twice during a Detroit power play, and David Perron and Filip Hronek also created scoring opportunities. It was a shot by Ben Chiarot that finally made a difference; his slap shot from the blue line hit Luff, who was in front of the Rangers crease, and sank in at 2:56 of the second period. Seider also picked up an assist, his second in two games and third in four games. Suter came through at 8:37, scoring for the second time this weekend, to make it 2-2.
Contributions from call-ups
Austin Czarnik entered the lineup in place of Filip Zadina, who suffered a lower-body injury Saturday. Czarnik, a 29-year-old Detroit native who has played parts of the last seven seasons around the league, slotted into Zadina's spot on a line with Michael Rasmussen and Adam Erne, and had a shot on net two minutes into the game. Luff is another call-up; the 25-year-old with nearly 100 NHL games experience entered the lineup Oct. 31 in place of Oskar Sundqvist (upper body). The Wings are also without Tyler Bertuzzi (upper body), Jakub Vrana (players assistance program) and Robby Fabbri (knee).
Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Dominik Kubalik continues hot start with OT winner for Detroit Red Wings