NEW YORK -- Mika Zibanejad had a goal and two assists in the New York Rangers' 4-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden on Friday.
Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin each had a goal and an assist for New York (24-21-4), which had lost its previous two games and hadn't played since Jan. 21. Panarin missed that game, along with the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game, with an upper-body injury.
"You're anxious to get back," Zibanejad said. "It was a good break. You reset your mind a little bit and rest your body. Guys were excited to be back; we know what's ahead of us. We're excited about it."
[WATCH: All Red Wings vs. Rangers highlights]
Igor Shesterkin made 23 saves for his third NHL win in four starts (3-1-0), all this season. He played with Hartford of the American Hockey League while the Rangers were off.
"The rest of the team had a break, so I think it was harder for them than for me," Shesterkin said through an interpreter. "I think it was helpful to go back [to Hartford] and prove myself. The team really helped me; there were lots of blocked shots today (18)."
Video: DET@NYR: Zibanejad unloads wrist shot for PPG
Robby Fabbri and Valtteri Filppula scored, and Jimmy Howard made 35 saves for Detroit (12-36-4), which has been outscored 33-12 in losing seven straight (0-6-1). It was the Red Wings' first game since Jan. 22.
Howard is 0-15-2 in his past 17 starts and has allowed three or more goals in 15 of them. His streak is the second longest since the shootout was adopted for the 2005-06 NHL season. Cory Schneider lost 21 straight games (0-17-4) for the New Jersey Devils from Dec. 29, 2017 to Feb. 14, 2019.
It was the first of a home-and-home between the teams.
"They started on time tonight," said Howard, who made 15 saves in the first period. "They played really well, they got in on the forecheck and they worked us in the offensive zone as a five-man unit for two periods, and then they get the fourth one on the power play.
"… I think the rust was evident there early on. I guess it was expected after being off for eight days, but we have a unique opportunity here to go back at them here again tomorrow night and we need to show them better."
Video: DET@NYR: Howard robs Chytil with great glove save
Pavel Buchnevich gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 9:23 of the second period when he redirected Zibanejad's pass from the right face-off circle for his second goal in as many games.
Kreider made it 2-0 with a redirection of Adam Fox's wrist shot from the point at 11:56.
Video: DET@NYR: Kreider deflects Fox's shot for goal
Panarin extended the lead to 3-0 with 42 seconds left in the period when he took a pass from Jesper Fast at center ice, skated into the Red Wings zone, drove past defenseman Alex Biega and flipped in a backhand.
"[When Panarin is out], in essence you lose three players when you lose a guy like that because his two linemates (Fast and Ryan Strome) certainly aren't the players they are when he's in the lineup," Rangers coach David Quinn said. "Him and [Mika] have that ability when they're not in our lineup or when they are in the lineup, they make their two linemates that much better. It's nice to have him back."
Zibanejad scored a power-play goal with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle to make it 4-0 at 5:02 of the third period.
Fabbri cut it to 4-1 with a wrist shot from the right circle at 5:59, and Filppula scored at 10:59 for the 4-2 final.
Video: DET@NYR: Filppula flips the puck home to in the 3rd
Shesterkin attempted twice to score an empty-net goal. His first shot, with 1:06 remaining, was knocked down at the Rangers blue line; the second went wide of the net as time expired.
"I'd be surprised if he doesn't get one," Quinn said. "He does have that ability."
Video: Clutch Performance - Panarin nets goal and an assist
They said it
"It was an even playing field. We both had the same break, so there's zero excuse from that aspect. Zero. That doesn't mean the break's not hard on everybody; I think it's hard to be off that many days and play, but we're on this exact same playing field." -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill
"Either way, if we would have won those last two [games before the break] or not, I think it's important to come back after a break like that and feel good about yourself. I thought we played a good game today and did enough to win and focus on tomorrow." -- Rangers center Mika Zibanejad
Need to know
Filppula played his 999th NHL game. … Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (broken nose) had three hits and two blocked shots in 16:45 of ice time in his first game since Dec. 15 … Panarin has 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in his past seven games … Kreider has six goals in his past eight games. … Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo had two assists and three blocked shots.
Red Wings: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-D, MSG 2, NHL.TV)
Rangers: At the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-D, MSG 2, NHL.TV)
Video: Zibanejad collects three points in Rangers' 4-2 win