04152021

Derick Brassard’s OT goal leads Rangers to 4-3 win over Red Wings

Derick Brassard scores the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Rangers a 4-3 victory.Frank Franklin II/AP
Derick Brassard scores the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Rangers a 4-3 victory.



When attending Ranger games at the Garden, come prepared with a pillow, blanket and a paper bag: The Blueshirts are keeping fans at the arena late, and they’re sending them home gasping for air.


Wednesday night’s 4-3 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings was the latest example of exciting, extended, but hectic hockey, the Rangers’ third straight game to reach OT. The Rangers had not played three straight extra-session games since March of 2008.


It got no crazier than the final few minutes of regulation, when Detroit was pressing down a goal and officials told Rangers defenseman Marc Staal to go to the penalty box but sent teammate Martin St. Louis to the sin bin instead. Minutes later, Staal was whistled for a different infraction.


“I was as confused as anyone,” Staal said.


The Rangers (6-4-2) surrendered two leads for the second straight game, including a game-tying 5-on-3 goal from forward Tomas Tatar with 7.7 seconds remaining in regulation and goalie Jonas Gustavsson pulled.


Blueshirts center Derick Brassard (goal, assist) eventually won it 1:50 into overtime with the Rangers’ second power-play goal of the night, on a rebound of Dan Girardi’s slap shot through a screen from Rick Nash (goal).


Before that, though, they surrendered leads of 2-0 in the second period and 3-2 in the third. Alain Vigneault’s team never went to overtime more than twice in a row in last year’s regular season or playoffs through 107 games.

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Brassard and the Garden faithful celebrate the game-winning goal. 



“But we stick with it,” Brassard said. “If you look at our game, I think everything is pretty simple right now, but we’re working hard and competing, and that’s how we’re having success.”


Five of the Rangers’ six wins have been by one goal. Two have come in overtime, one in a shootout. Another was via last week’s third-period comeback that erased a 3-0 deficit to beat Minnesota in regulation, 5-4.


The Rangers may have answered two consecutive shootout losses to Winnipeg and St. Louis with a hard-fought win over Detroit (6-3-4), but this one was not earned without concerns.

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The Red Wings come back from two different leads but eventually fall to the Rangers in overtime.



Henrik Lundqvist (25 saves) offset a penalty shot save on Gustav Nyquist at 5:51 of the second period with a short-side softy from Dan Cleary off the boards at 12:15. Penalties — which bit the Rangers late in regulation — also ignited Detroit’s momentum after a dreadful start by the visitors. Vigneault pinpointed Dominic Moore’s offensive-zone penalty midway through the first as a negative turning point.


Nash’s 10th goal of the season, a deflection off his rear end of a Brassard slap shot, and a St. Louis breakaway goal off defenseman Matt Hunwick’s second assist of the night built a 2-0 lead. Jakub Kindl’s power-play goal off a Conor Allen penalty and Cleary’s tally tied it.


Vigneault’s players at least regained control of a puck in the third period after it had become a foreign object to them in the second. Lee Stempniak scored at 12:10 off Moore’s assist on a two-on-one for the 3-2 lead, setting the stage for another wild finish.


“We’ve been very good in close games this year,” Vigneault said. “Other than the two shootout losses, we won them all. We know how to play under pressure.


“We know how to manage the game, and tonight we were able to not go in a shootout and get it done before.” 

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