The New York Rangers have recovered from a dreadful start to the season and have a chance to continue their current hot stretch when they open a four-game homestand against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night. New York won just one of its first eight games but is 8-2-0 over its last 10 after rolling to a 6-1 victory at Carolina on Wednesday night.
Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast each scored a pair of goals and Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves in his 10th consecutive start for the resurgent Rangers. New York struggled at home in 2016-17 and started slow this season by winning just one of its first five, but the Rangers have ripped off six straight victories at Madison Square Garden. Detroit is coming off a 2-1-2 homestand that ended with a thud in a 6-2 drubbing by the Edmonton Oilers. The Red Wings halted a six-game losing streak at Madison Square Garden with a 2-1 win in October 2016, but they have scored a total of eight goals in the seven games.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, MSG2 (New York)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (10-9-3): Anthony Mantha is second on Detroit with 19 points and his 10 goals are four more than any other teammate, but he has failed to hit the scoresheet in three straight games, earning a rebuke from coach Jeff Blashill. “The one thing with Anthony is, I’ve told him this, that for us to be great, I think he’s got to be great,” Blashill said. “That comes with lots of responsibility.” Forward Scott Wilson (lower body) practiced Thursday after leaving Wednesday’s game with an injury.
ABOUT THE RANGERS (11-9-2): Captain Ryan McDonagh sat out Wednesday’s game due to an abdominal strain and has been shut down until Sunday, when he will be re-evaluated. Fellow blue-liner Brendan Smith, in his third game back in the lineup following an injury absence, helped pick up the slack by collecting an assist and registering a plus-4. “When the door opens, you get a little more opportunity, a little more ice time,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of really good players on our back end and we kind of filled that role.”
1. Rangers C Mika Zibanejad has six goals and 10 assists in his last 13 games.
2. Detroit is 10-for-25 on the power play in nine games in November.
3. Lundqvist has four shutouts and a 1.98 goals-against average in 12 starts versus the Red Wings.
PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Red Wings 2