NEW YORK - The Red Wings hadn't had much luck at Madison Square Garden lately and they definitely had any luck against New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
Somehow, despite the Rangers' speed and Lundqvist, the Wings managed to escape New York with a 2-1 victory, their second straight win after starting the season 0-2.
It's the Wings' first win at Madison Square Garden since Dec. 6, 2009, snapping a six-game skid.
1. Jimmy Howard: Look no further than the opposite end of the ice from Lundqvist to find why the Wings won the game. Howard, a native of Syracuse, New York, has always enjoyed playing at Madison Square Garden and Wings coach Jeff Blashill decided to give him his first start of the season there. Howard stopped 32 shots, many spectacularly, to earn first star honors. The only blemish happened early, when Mika Zibanejad deflected Ryan McDonagh's shot from the point past Howard just 1:09 into the game.
Quotable: "I just wanted to go out there today and enjoy myself and give us a chance to win. You never know with the guy at the other end if he's going to let one in. You better be on your toes. There's a reason why he's one of the best in the game. It's an honor and a privilege to go up against him. At the end of the day, we found a way." - Howard.
2. Breakaways: The Rangers had plenty of breakaways, particularly in the second period. Howard had to stop Jimmy Vesey twice, Michael Grabner shorthanded, Zibanejad and Rick Nash, to name a few. It's something that has happened with alarming frequency in the early going this season but the Wings were bailed out by Howard.
Quotable: "Jimmy stole the game. Honestly, that's one of the better performances I've seen from a goalie, probably at any level. I thought he was excellent. Two bright spots for us. We two points; we got to find a way to get points, and then two, I thought in the third we were better overall for the most part, I think we only gave them six shots. But we got to be much better than that to have long-term success. Luckily for us, Jimmy was great. We can learn lessons off a victory." - Blashill
3. Drew Miller: Luke Glendening stripped the puck away from Lundqvist behind the net and passed it to Miller in front for the game-winning goal just 59 seconds into the third period. It's Miller's first goal of the season. But that wasn't his only contribution to the game. The Wings found themselves in terrible penalty trouble in the second period, needing to kill off a 5-on-3 for 55 seconds. Miller played 3:17 of his 16:08 time on ice shorthanded, more than any other forward and just three seconds shy of the 3:20 shorthanded that Jonathan Ericsson and Danny DeKeyser played.
Quotable: "We're happy with the win. Sometimes it's not pretty on the road, but I think the message after the game is we weren't good enough. We have a lot of things that we could have done better tonight, not giving them as much speed. They're a team that plays really fast and they've got some guys that can fly but we've got to be better in slowing them down. Penalty-kill wise, yeah, we had a big night. I think Howie made some big saves for us on the PK, guys blocking shots and just playing true to our system so that's good for us." - Miller