DETROIT — Marek Zidlicky made the best possible first impression on the Detroit Red Wings.
His power-play goal 1:09 into overtime lifted his new team to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on March 4.
Zidlicky, making his Red Wings debut after being acquired at the NHL trade deadline from New Jersey, punched the puck past Rangers goalie Cam Talbot in a scrum to give the Red Wings their second straight win.
Justin Abdelkader also scored, Henrik Zetterberg added two assists, and Jimmy Howard made 39 saves for Detroit.
“Can’t be a better feeling,” Zidlicky said, “especially to score in my first game here.”
Talbot made 29 saves for the Rangers, whose lone goal was scored by defenseman Dan Girardi.
The Red Wings played the final 46 seconds of regulation on a power play after Derek Stepan held Gustav Nyquist. The advantage carried into overtime, and Zidlicky cashed in on Detroit’s third shot.
The Red Wings played their first home game since Feb. 16 after wrapping up a six-game trip with a win Feb. 28 at Nashville — giving them nine points while away.
Even after the successful trip, Detroit coach Mike Babcock thought his team looked sluggish.
“We looked like we’d been on a long road trip and came out looking like we were wearing snowshoes,” he said. “We turned the puck over a lot. Howie was great.
“It’s nice to win a game when you don’t play well. Our goalie gave us that chance.”
New York nearly scored a lucky goal late in regulation when Ryan McDonagh’s shot bounced back over Howard’s shoulder. The goalie knocked it out of harm’s way with his blocker.
“I just kept an eye on it and tried to swipe it away as hard as I could,” he said. “They threw a lot at the net. Coming into tonight I knew I was going to be busy.”
The Rangers were especially dominant in the first two periods, when they outshot the Red Wings 27-16.
“It was a good hockey game. A lot of battle all over the ice by both teams,” New York coach Alain Vigneault said. “I liked the way we played, especially in the second period.
“Unfortunately we got a penalty late and they were able to score in overtime.”
Detroit took a 1-0 lead 6:12 in when Abdelkader punched in a rebound of Zetterberg’s shot. The play began when Jonathan Ericsson intercepted a clearing attempt in the New York zone.
Girardi tied it with 2:58 left in the first during a power play when he redirected a puck that bounced off Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey’s skate.
The Rangers sent 16 shots at Howard in the second period, but the game remained tied. Their best scoring chance came 6 minutes in when defenseman Marc Staal found himself alone in front of Howard, but his wrist shot struck a goal post and bounced away.
Nyquist later missed on a breakaway and then sent a centering pass near the net early in the third period, but Stephen Weiss couldn’t finish.
The Rangers, who topped Nashville 4-1 at home on March 2, tied the idle New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division by earning the overtime point. They had won five of six before March 4.
Forward Erik Cole also made his Red Wings debut. Detroit sent two prospects and a draft pick to Dallas for Cole, and got Zidlicky from New Jersey for a conditional draft pick.Source: The National Herald