Rangers fourth line shines in 4-3 win over Red Wings

NHL: New York Rangers at Detroit Red Wings
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, the New York Rangers enhanced their chances of winning the Presidents’ Trophy and clinching the top spot in the Metropolitan Division with a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

In the third and final meeting of the season between the two Original Six franchises, neither team could maintain a lead for more than two minutes. The Rangers and Red Wings remained tied most of the contest until Chris Kreider tallied his 37th of the season on the power play at 10:14 of the third period, which stood as the game-winner.

Barclay Goodrow, who came into the contest with just two goals on the season, doubled his total to lead the way for New York. Artemi Panarin extended his point streak to eight games, picking up an assist for his 17th point since March 21. He now has 111 points, just 12 shy of Jaromir Jagr’s franchise record of 123.

Between the pipes, the goalie matchup featured two recently announced Bill Masterton Trophy nominees: Jonathan Quick of the Rangers and Alex Lyon of the Red Wings. Quick recently became the winningest American-born netminder in NHL history and made 31 saves to inch closer to 400 career wins. Lyon finished his 40th contest of the season with 34 saves.

“We knew how hard they were going to play,” Quick said. “We did a great job sticking to our structure, blocking shots, and clearing pucks when we needed.”

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New York Rangers 4 vs Detroit Red Wings 3

NHL: New York Rangers at Detroit Red Wings
Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The first ten minutes played out like a feeling-out process. Will Cuylle intercepted a poorly-timed Red Wings’ turnover at 5:58 off a pass from Austin Czarnik. The rookie skated in untouched to beat Lyon five-hole for his 13th goal, giving the visitors an early 1-0 lead.

New York’s lead evaporated 1:13 later, when former Rangers forward Andrew Copp slid one through Quick’s five-hole, tying the contest 1-1. Copp’s lamplighter capped off an immediate pushback from the Red Wings, which included Lucas Raymond hitting the post behind Quick half a minute before the tying goal.

In the dying seconds of the opening frame, at 19:39, Barclay Goodrow restored the Rangers lead, firing the puck over Lyon’s left pad after a Jonny Brodzinski faceoff win deep in the Red Wings zone. Jimmy Vesey had the initial shot attempt that Goodrow knocked down for a tip, allowing him to swat home the loose puck in the slot for this third of the season.

“It was a well rounded game for everybody,” Brodzinski noted. ” Just small little details we did well tonight.”

The second period began with the Red Wings pressing right off the opening face-off, tying the contest at 2-2 just 1:24 into the middle frame. Jeff Petry took a shot from the right circle that bounced off J.T. Compher’s skate for the tying goal. Unfortunately, it was a double deflection goal for Quick since the shot also hit Ryan Lindgren, who was battling with Compher in front.

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With Erik Gustafsson serving a penalty late in the second, Quick robbed Detroit captain Dylan Larkin with a spectacular glove save with 6:47 to play. However, on the ensuing face-off, David Perron rang one off the post, and while everyone looked up for the puck, it dropped at Larkin’s feet, and he fired it home for his 30th goal at 6:41 to give the Red Wings their first lead of the night, 3-2.

Just 15 seconds later, the Rangers fourth line connected on their second tally, knotting things up at 3-3. After getting the puck into the zone, Vesey took a shot that Lyon kicked out to Goodrow, who scored into an empty cage to tie it up.

“That line was really good,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “[Goodrow] does a lot of stuff for us … he’s a blood and guts type of guy. It was good to see him have a night like that.”

Kreider gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead at the halfway point of the third period off a rebound in front of the net on the power play. However, the Red Wings had a chance to tie with a late power-play opportunity as captain Jacob Trouba went off for high-sticking. The Rangers killed off the penalty and held off Detroit’s late chances to earn their 52nd win, which is one shy of the franchise record (53) set in 2014-15.

The Blueshirts return home to Madison Square Garden in a Sunday evening contest against the Montreal Canadiens, with puck drop scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Some of Ryan Gagne's all-time favorite goalies have been Mike Richter, Henrik Lundqvist, and Igor Shesterkin. As a Yankees... More about Ryan Gagne

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