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J.T. Miller stays hot, Rangers defeat Wild

Four unanswered goals help New York erase two-goal deficit

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

Miller's game-tying goal

MIN@NYR: Miller ties the game with a one-timer

2/4/16: Derick Brassard sends a pass from behind the Wild net to J.T. Miller, who unleashes a one-timer into the twine that ties the game

  • 00:49 •

NEW YORK -- The light went on for the New York Rangers approximately 10 minutes into the first period. It didn't matter that the Minnesota Wild had already turned on the red light twice.

"Behind the net, cycling," center Derick Brassard said. "That's where we took over the game."

The Rangers overcame an early two-goal deficit by controlling the tempo and the puck with their forecheck and cycling game for the majority of the final 50 minutes en route to a 4-2 win against the Wild at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

Brassard's goal at 5:46 of the third period was the game-winner. Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller scored in the second period to erase Minnesota's 2-0 lead. Brassard, McDonagh and Miller each had an assist.

Chris Kreider added an empty-net goal with 1:48 remaining. Mats Zuccarello had two assists, and Henrik Lundqvist made 16 saves.

Miller has eight goals in the past eight games. Brassard is tied with Zuccarello for the team lead in goals with 18.

Video: MIN@NYR: McDonagh puts the Rangers on the board

The Rangers (28-18-5) outshot the Wild 29-13 after a strong start from Minnesota. Ryan Carter scored on a breakaway at 2:09 of the first period and defenseman Matt Dumba gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead with a power-play goal at 7:57.

"Even in the first period we had some good shifts, it's just that they scored two goals," Brassard said. "It looked like we didn't play well, but we had looks. With our speed, we figured if we use the back of the net it's going to create some confusion for them. That's what we did."

The Wild (23-19-9) have looked confused, confounded, baffled, puzzled -- choose your adjective -- for more than a month now. They have lost nine of their past 10 games (1-8-1) and 12 of 15 games (3-9-3) since Jan. 2.

Video: MIN@NYR: Dubnyk robs Lindberg, keeps game tied

They had a 2-0 lead and a 5-1 advantage in shots on goal when Dumba scored. They weren't the same after.

The Rangers scored twice in an 80-second span and outshot the Wild 17-4 in the second period. Minnesota didn't get its first shot on goal of the second period until 9:01. The Rangers already had 12.

"We're afraid of losing right now; we're hoping to win," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "We're afraid of losing and the result is not good. We have to go out and win a game."

The Wild conclude their three-game road trip Saturday against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center.

"We go into St. Louis, I'm pretty sure they're not going to give us a gift next game," Yeo said. "Just because you're up 2-0 doesn't mean you try to cling on to that. We have to push harder and we have to push for the next one, and fight extremely hard to make sure they don't climb back in the game like they did."

Video: MIN@NYR: Carter opens scoring early on the breakaway

Jesper Fast didn't get an assist on Brassard's winner, but it wouldn't have happened without him. He won a foot race into the corner and a puck battle against Wild forward Jarret Stoll to spring the puck free up the right-wing wall.

The puck came out to McDonagh, who moved it down to Miller in the right circle. He found Brassard alone in the slot. Brassard had time to make a move to his forehand before putting the puck past Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk on the stick side.

"At first I thought he was going to pokecheck me," Brassard said. "He's pretty big and I was not facing him so I was pretty surprised I had time to make a move on him. But if you look at the replay, Jesper doesn't get any assist, but he's the first guy on the forecheck in the corner. I love playing with this guy. He's doing everything right. He's a big part of our line."

Video: MIN@NYR: Dumba gives Wild an early two-goal lead

McDonagh made it 2-1 with his seventh goal of the season at 3:15 of the second period. Miller tied the game with his 16th goal of the season at 4:35 on a high, far-side one-timer from the lower part of the left circle.

Miller is tied for the League lead in goals since Jan. 16 with eight. He has a goal in five of the past six games and six of the past eight.

"I see a young man that is definitely growing and understanding more every day what it is to be a pro, and going out there and working hard to become the best player he could be," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "He's putting in a lot of time in his off-ice conditioning, works hard in practice, and he's getting an opportunity right now. He's definitely playing well for us."

Video: 2/4/16: Miller stays hot, Rangers defeat Wild

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