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Rangers Finish Trip Strong With Win in Detroit

McDonagh Scores Twice, Raanta With 23 Saves

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

DETROIT -- The Rangers' winning ways on the road continued with a 4-1 win over Detroit in their final game at Joe Louis Arena.

Ryan McDonagh scored twice while Kevin Hayes and Derek Stepan added a goal each as the Rangers secured their NHL-leading 25th road win of the season.

"It's tough to create in this league," McDonagh said when asked about generating offense from the blueline. "You need those guys on the back end joining. We've got the ability. Everybody does back there. The way we play with our breakouts and our speed game, when we are jumping into the play that's a good sign. We're coming out of our zone clean, not getting stuck there. We talked about getting a lot of pucks around the net and that's basically what the outcome was."

Video: NYR@DET: McDonagh crashes net, finishes SHG in front

McDonagh opened the scoring late in the first period when he converted on a shorthanded 3-on-1 rush with Kevin Hayes and Michael Grabner. McDonagh cleared the puck out of trouble from behind his net to start the rush down ice.

After Grabner hit Hayes with a pass, Hayes went backhand through Petr Mrazek and McDonagh slammed home the puck on the goal line to put New York up with 27 seconds remaining in the period.

Detroit would tie the game on the power play 5:35 into the second period. After Marc Staal was called for elbowing Dylan Larkin, Frans Nielsen finished a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play with Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader to knot the game, 1-1.

McDonagh put the Rangers back up by one late in the middle frame. Like his first goal, McDonagh started the rush, this time by picking off a pass at center ice and eventually burying a loose puck after a goalmouth scramble with 3:10 left in the second.

Video: NYR@DET: Hayes buries Miller's pinpoint feed in 2nd

New York extended the lead to two just 37 seconds later. J.T. Miller carried the puck into Detroit's end and dropped a pass for Grabner, who then hit a streaking Miller with a return pass at the circle. Miller hit Hayes for the one-timer on the far side for his 17th of the season to make it 3-1.

Derek Stepan capped the scoring with his first goal in 24 games to put the Rangers up 4-1 with 3:59 left in the game.

"I felt there was four or five games in the 23 that I didn't really like my game," Stepan said. "The rest, I felt pretty good about it. I just wasn't scoring. My last five games I was much better and tonight I was able to find it."

Video: NYR@DET: Raanta makes a pair of superb saves in 3rd

Antti Raanta made 23 saves for his 14th win of the season in his first start since it was learned Henrik Lundqvist would miss up to three weeks with an injury. Despite the increased playing time, Raanta said he isn't thinking about it too much.

"I just try to go one day at a time, one game at a time and one shot at a time," Raanta said. "It's useless to start thinking too much ahead of myself or the schedule. Just try to do the same thing I've been trying to do the whole year, even though now you're going to play a little more."

After responding well after Thursday's loss in Carolina, the Rangers are pleased with taking three of four on the road. Now they must carry that effort into Monday's match with the Lightning.

"It's just good for us to respond in a good fashion losing in a tough way to Carolina," McDonagh said. "Now we need to back this up tomorrow against another tough opponent. We should come out with a lot of energy." 

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