For just under 63 minutes, the New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings played a back and forth, low scoring tilt in the Rangers’ penultimate visit to Joe Louis Arena.
And then…It was Miller Time.
JT Miller scored a goal for the second consecutive game, breaking a scoreless tie in Motown, and the Rangers emerged with the 1-0 victory in the nationally televised matinee.
It was an official return to form for Henrik Lundqvist, who earned his 20th victory of the season, becoming the first goaltender in NHL history to acquire 20 wins in each of the first dozen seasons of his career. Lundqvist also earned the 61st shutout of his career by blanking Detroit, partaking his third shutout of the year. 21 saves were needed to earn the Rangers (30-16-1) two points in Michigan, the most notable being a big save on a wide open Henrik Zetterberg at close range in the third period that kept it a score less game. After allowing at least four goals in each of his past four games, Lundqvist has allowed a pair in his last two, following up a 5-2 win over Toronto on Thursday in which he made 23 saves.
Countering for Detroit (20-19-8) was Jared Coreau, who stood up to the challenge in regulation, making key saves against a strong Ranger attack. Both teams had opportunities to score, but seven combined power plays proved fruitless. Finally, the Rangers broke through in the extra frame, when Brady Skjei got the puck to Mats Zuccarello. Taking advantage of a fatigued Dylan Larkin, Zuccarello drew the attention of Coreau, before passing it over to Miller, who scored a goal that was certainly in great taste, ending the extra period on a winning note.
The Rangers will make their final ever trip to “The Joe” on March 12.