Derek Stepan said he looked to a friend and former teammate for advice while dealing with his career-long goal drought that he snapped Sunday night in a 4-1 win over the Red Wings.
"I tried to lean on as many people as I could. The coaching staff. I even got to the point where I called Marty St. Louis," Stepan said after the game. "I just reached out to those guys and talked to them and just tried to keep my mind in the right place. I'm glad it went in."
Video: NYR@DET: Stepan roofs Kreider's feed for late PPG
Stepan and St. Louis were teammates for two seasons in New York, including in 2014 when the Rangers advanced to the Stanley Cup Final. St. Louis went through similar struggles upon his arrival at the 2014 trade deadline, and Stepan said he played a big role in keeping him focused.
"When Marty first came to New York he went 15 games [without a goal]," said Stepan, who added he called St. Louis prior to the team's road trip. "He said it felt like a year. He just talked about the process. When Marty was here, we talked a lot of hockey. We were hockey nerds so to say, talking plays. We played together the full time he was here. He was good to lean on. He gave me some good advice. He's a guy I'm going to continue to lean on. He's got a lot of experience. He can relate to me."
Sunday night was a night of highs for the Rangers, as five Rangers either established or tied career bests, including Kevin Hayes, who set his career-high in assists with 29, and points with 46.
Video: NYR@DET: Hayes buries Miller's pinpoint feed in 2nd
Hayes wasn't done, though, as he also tied his career-high in goals and added to his single-season best in shorthanded assists with six, and shorthanded points with seven.
Chris Kreider's assist on Stepan's power play goal gave him 47 points on the year, which was a new high. J.T. Miller's assist on Hayes' goal increased his career-high in assists with 31 and points with 50, while Antti Raanta's 14th win of the year is his new personal best.
Rick Nash and Michael Grabner both returned to the lineup Sunday in Detroit. Nash missed Thursday's match with an upper-body injury, while Grabner missed five games with a hip injury. Grabner had two assists in the win, marking the sixth time in his career he had two or more assists, and the first time as a Ranger.
Coach Alain Vigneault said defenseman Dan Girardi is going to see a specialist today regarding his injured ankle.
Girardi has missed the last seven games with the injury he suffered blocking a shot last month.
"He's going to see a specialist [Monday] and from there that's going to dictate to us when he's going to start to skate," Vigneault said prior to Sunday's game. "The wound is really progressing well, so I would expect him to be on skates in the next couple of days."
Kevin Klein is doing off-ice workouts for back spasms that have kept the defenseman out of the last 10 games.
Henrik Lundqvist was shut down for 72 hours to let his injured hip "calm down," according to Vigneault. Following that rest period, the netminder is expected to begin the rehab process that's expected to keep him out of the lineup for two-to-three weeks."