McDonagh leads Rangers to 4-1 win over Red Wings
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DETROIT (AP) The New York Rangers are getting plenty of offense from their defense.
Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh scored twice and New York defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Sunday night for its NHL-leading 25th road win.
New York's defense added three more points - McDonagh's two goals, and an assist by Marc Staal. That gave the group 10 goals and 29 points in the past 15 games.
"It's tough to create in this league," McDonagh said. "You need those guys in the back end joining. We've got the ability, everybody does, and with the way we play, our breakouts, our speed game, we are jumping into the play."
"They've done a really good job," said Brendan Smith, the newest member of the New York defense. "Holds has got 10 goals and Skjei is another guy. Mac had two tonight. Obviously, the back end produces a lot. It's a pretty potent offense."
Smith played his first game against his former teammates after being acquired from Detroit on Feb. 28, but it was McDonagh who got the Rangers rolling while they were short-handed in the first period.
The Red Wings received a late power-play opportunity when New York defenseman Steven Kampfer was called for tripping at 18:17. But the Rangers were the team that capitalized. Jumping on a loose puck, they broke away on 3-on-1 and McDonagh, driving to the net, tipped in a backhand shot by Hayes to open the scoring.
"I just kept my stick down the whole way and got a piece of it," McDonagh said.
It was the eighth short-handed goal allowed by Detroit this season.
The Red Wings returned to the power play early in the second when Staal went off for elbowing, and this time they took advantage. Justin Abdelkader, Gus Nyquist and Nielsen passed the puck around on the edge of the Rangers crease, and Nielsen finished the play for his 14th goal at 5:35.
Some sloppy play by the Red Wings gave the Rangers the lead with 3:10 left in the period. McDonagh intercepted a pass by Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall and skated into the Red Wings end. He missed on his first shot, then passed to Staal, who was stopped by Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek, but McDonagh scored on the rebound.
Just 37 seconds later, the Rangers made it 3-1. Hayes was left wide open at the edge of the Detroit net and converted a cross-crease pass from J.T. Miller.
"We shoot ourselves in the foot twice, for no reason," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "I thought up to that point we had done a pretty good job, and just got to make sure we don't make those errors."
Stepan scored the only goal of the third period on a power play, taking a feed from Chris Kreider and putting it high over the sprawling Mrazek. It was Stepan's first goal in 24 games.
Raanta improved to 14-6 this season.
"They played good in front of him but when we got our grade As, he was there and made some big saves," Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg said.
NOTES: Lundqvist missed the game with a hip injury and is expected to be out two to three weeks. ... For the second straight game, Detroit made rookie right wing Anthony Mantha, tied for third on the team with 14 goals, a healthy scratch. ... Rangers forwards Rick Nash (one game, upper body) and Grabner (five games, hip) both returned after injury absences.
Rangers: Return home Monday to face the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Red Wings: Begin a two-game trip Wednesday at Colorado.
Updated March 12, 2017