Red Wings Knock Off Rangers 3-1

On a back-end of a two-games-in-two-nights-in-two-cities road trip, the Red Wings would be forgiven if they didn't look their best.

Instead, they played an extremely solid first period, and pulled out a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers off goals from Pavel Datsyuk, Dan Cleary and Kris Draper.

To make things even better, Jimmy Howard had yet another very good night in net, stopping 28 shots, including a penalty shot that would've given the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

And the Red Wings even did something no team had done yet all season: hold the red-hot Marian Gaborik (21 goals in 26 games) to no shots in a game.

The first period saw Christopher Higgins come in to the right of Howard on a three-on-three. Brian Boyle skated up the middle and got past Justin Abdelkader. Higgins saw him, set him up nicely, and Higgins put it past Howard.

Early in the second, Ryan Callahan got past Jonathan Ericsson and was in alone when Ericsson hooked him, earning Callahan a penalty shot. But Callahan's fake wasn't bought by Howard, and when he went to Howard's left, Howard held his skate firm against the post and Callahan couldn't put the puck over it.

Later in the period, Henrik Zetterberg took a 23-footer that bounced off Henrik Lundqvist, but the rebound went to  Datsyuk. Datsyuk did not miss, putting it past Lundqvist for his seventh of the season.

In the third with just over two minutes left, it was Zetterberg again setting up the play, coming up the boards to the left of Lundqvist. He passed cross-ice to a fresh-on-the-ice Cleary. With Callahan draped over him and just to the right of Lundqvist, Cleary put the puck to the net, and after going between Lundqvist's legs, it went off his left skate and into the net for the game-winner.

Finally, with six seconds left, Kris Draper took advantage of the empty net to put the sealer in and net his sixth of the season.

The Red Wings ended up with 31 shots on goal, while the Rangers had 29. The Wings are off until Wednesday, when they face the St. Louis Blues.

Player of the game: Jimmy Howard. He made some big-time saves tonight, especially on the Callahan penalty shot. And with every great performance, he makes Mike Babcock have to think a little harder as he moves forward.

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