for this game

Howard has 45 saves, Red Wings edge Rangers

Feb 8, 2011 - 7:40 AM
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Jimmy Howard stopped a season-high 45 shots as Detroit edged the New York Rangers, 3-2, at Joe Louis Arena.

Howard improved to 26-9-3 on the year, winning for the third time in his last four starts, and tied Carey Price of Montreal and Roberto Luongo of Vancouver for most victories by a goaltender in the NHL.

Pavel Datsyuk returned to action for the first time since December 22 after his recovery from a broken right wrist, picking up a goal and one assist for the Red Wings, who snapped a two-game losing streak during which they failed to score a goal.

"The main thing is you just have to stay on the right path and remain focused and things will turn around for us," said Howard.

Jiri Hudler and Drew Miller also tallied for Detroit, which improved to 16-7-4 on home ice.

Derek Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky tallied for the Rangers, who suffered their fifth straight loss. Martin Biron made 32 saves in defeat.

It was 3-1 for Detroit as the clock ticked under 5 1/2 minutes remaining in regulation when Miller was on the doorstep to tap in a Justin Abdelkader shot that dropped off Biron's arm.

Dubinsky brought the Rangers back within a goal with 4:05 to play, finishing off a 2-on-1 with Sean Avery on a shot from the left circle.

New York had multiple chances to find the equalizer, including a two-man advantage for nearly a minute after a high-sticking minor to Jonathan Ericsson and a double minor for the same committed by Abdelkader.

Biron went to the bench for an extra skater for the final 1:15, but the Blueshirts still couldn't beat Howard even with a 6-on-4 edge.

Datsyuk opened the scoring at the 2:52 mark of the second period, potting his own rebound from the crease.

"He's a difference maker," Biron said of Datsyuk. "They had been shut out back-to-back games and he comes back and leads the charge offensively. That's what guys like that do."

New York finally equalized at 3:09 of the third period, as Matt Gilroy whipped a cross-ice pass from the right circle to the left wing for Stepan's tally.

Less than two minutes later, Hudler converted an Ericsson dish with a high wrister from the right circle for a 2-1 game.

Game Notes

Detroit has won five in a row and eight of nine meetings with the Rangers since the 2001-02 season...Howard's previous season-high for stops in one game came in a 41-save performance in a 4-0 road shutout of Anaheim on December 3...New York hasn't won at Detroit since January 30, 1999, dropping six straight decisions.