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Rangers close long road trip with 3-2 win over Red Wings

The SportsXchange

DETROIT - The New York Rangers are finally headed home, and they're taking a big win with them.

Derick Brassard's breakaway goal with 12.9 seconds left in overtime gave New York a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Benoit Pouliot scored a goal and added an assist and Mats Zuccarello also scored for the Rangers (3-6-0). Cam Talbot stopped 32 of 34 shots in the win.

It was the last game of a nine-game road-trip to start the season for the Rangers because Madison Square Garden was being renovated.

"It was really hard on the body. It's something that's not going to happen again because of what is happening at MSG," Brassard said.

New York will finally have its home opener on Monday night, when it hosts the Montreal Canadiens.

"As a player, it (home crowd) gives you so much energy on the ice. You play with more emotion," Brassard said. "We want to get back and see our fans."

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said his team will benefit from the early long trip.

"It's going to be good for us," he said. "It's been a challenge. We don't have the record we want but we made some strides in the right direction."

Brassard collected Pouliot's chip pass just inside the Red Wings' blue line on the winner.

"I only had scoop up the puck. It was kind of bouncing, so I just closed my eyes and shot," Brassard said.

Howard explained it from his point of view.

"I saw, I don't know who it was pinch there and Brassard busted loose and got the shot off and it went off my stick and just sort of rolled up my body," he said. "Tried to fling my arm and get it over the cross bar but it still went in the net."

The Rangers 15 goals this season are still the fewest in the league.

Drew Miller and Daniel Alfredsson scored for Detroit (6-4-2), which lost its fourth straight. Jimmy Howard made 37 saves.

"They score more than us. The bottom line is they took the game over from us in the second period," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I thought we fought to get it back in the third period, but in the second we got (out) skated, turned pucks over in the neutral zone, never got it behind them enough. When we get in their zone we're one-and-done too quickly."

Rangers left winger Zuccarello tied the game at 2 by putting in a rebound 2:18 into the third for his first goal of the season.

Pouliot tied the game at 1 with a power-play goal with 2:40 remaining in the second period. He put one in off a goal-mouth scramble.

Alfredsson's power-play goal with 11 seconds left in the seconds period restored Detroit's lead. He ripped a one-time shot from the right circle for his second goal.

"We've had trouble scoring goals and the second period could have been our best period of the season, and we only got out of it with a tie," Vigneault said.

Howard dove across the crease to make a spectacular blocker save on Brian Boyle about eight minutes into the middle period.

New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh hit the goal post about five minutes into the second period.

Miller opened the scoring with 2:48 left in the first period. He completed a 2-on-1 rush by beating Talbot with a wrist shot from the left circle.

Howard made a point-blank save on Chris Kreider's backhand shot 5:11 into the opening period.

NOTES: New York G Henrik Lundquist missed his second game because of an undisclosed injury. ... Seeking to find more offense after scoring only three goals in its last three games, Detroit coach Mike Babcock split up C Pavel Datsyuk and C Henrik Zetterberg, who had been playing together on the first line, to start the game. Datsyuk centered RW Daniel Alfredsson and LW Todd Bertuzzi, and Zetterberg was between RW Tomas Tatar and LW Johan Franzen. Tatar was moved into the top two lines in another attempt to add some offense. But Datsyuk and Zetterberg were back together by late in the second period. ... Rangers' C J.T. Miller played junior hockey with the suburban-Detroit based Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. ... The Red Wings' healthy scratches were RW Mikael Samuelsson and RW Patrick Eaves.
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