NEW YORK - Newcomers Vinny Prospal and Enver Lisin scored on the power play in New York's three-goal first period, and the Rangers held on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on Monday night in star forward Marian Gaborik's pre-season debut.
Prospal, Lisin - off a beautiful feed from Gaborik - and Ryan Callahan scored in a span of five minutes 12 seconds to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead against beleaguered goalie Daniel Larsson.
New York (2-2-1) was helped by four power plays in the period and finished with a 18-4 shots advantage through 20 minutes.
After the Red Wings (2-2) opened with a 2-1 edge in shots, New York outshot Detroit 16-0. That run ended when Ville Leino scored to make it 3-1 with 1:43 left in the period, after a shotless stretch of 15:08.
Gaborik made the play of the night. The star forward, signed away from the Minnesota Wild with a US$37.5-million, five-year deal, had been sidelined from New York's first four pre-season games because of a sore groin.
He carried the puck in the Red Wings' zone and curled near the right point as defenceman Brad Stuart tried to stay with him. Gaborik skated past Stuart down to the goal-line and behind the net, with Stuart still attempting to cover him. Gaborik moved around the other side, and peeked over his shoulder as he came around the corner.
Gaborik sent a seemingly blind pass in front to Lisin, who was wide open at the right post at 9:00 for his third goal of the pre-season - 3:47 after Prospal made it 1-0 with his first with the Rangers since signing in the off-season.
Prospal converted a blatant turnover by Stuart into a goal from the right circle 5:13 in.
Callahan scored by crashing the crease to make it 3-0 with 9:35 left. It was an eventful day for Callahan, who collided with teammate Sean Avery in the morning skate. Avery injured his right knee, but Rangers coach John Tortorella doesn't think it is serious. The agitating forward sat out against Detroit.
Leino finished a 2-on-1 rush to get the Red Wings on the board against Henrik Lundqvist. Kirk Maltby cut Detroit's deficit to 3-2 with 10:26 remaining, but Artem Anisimov sealed it with an empty-netter.
Both starting goalies left the game 9:23 into the second period. Lundqvist made 12 saves on 13 shots, and Larsson stopped 18 of 21.
Larsson was replaced by former Rangers first-round draft pick Dan Cloutier, attempting to make a comeback after missing all of last season and most of the season before due to injuries.
If he fails to land an NHL job after his tryout with the Red Wings, he hopes to resume his career in Europe.
Cloutier stopped eight shots. Rangers backup Steve Valiquette made 16 saves.
Detroit outshot the Rangers 16-4 in the second period, and the teams tied 30-30 overall.