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Rangers Vs. Red Wings: Getting The Job Done The Hard Way

Notes from the Rangers OT win over the Red Wings.

Al Bello

- It's a good thing the Rangers walked away with two points Wednesday night, because that overtime sure felt like the third game in a row where the Rangers deserved two points and were going to walk away with one. In the three games now since the Kevin Klein (who returned last night) and Ryan McDonagh injury game the Rangers are 1-0-2. That's four of a possible six points. Not bad at all.

- Had the Rangers lost this game I probably would have had a lot to say about the officiating. Instead I'll just say this: Yes, the officials missed Carl Hagelin's high stick. The officials also somehow missed Johan Franzen crosscheck Hagelin's head a few minutes later that could have very easily been a five-minute major. Then they call Martin St. Louis on a hook where a Red Wing actually threw himself back like he had been shot before calling Marc Staal for a penalty I've never seen called with less than a minute left in the game. But Mike Babcock was mad about the penalty in OT. That was cute.

- Rick Nash continued to be a monster. Yeah, the goal he scored was really lucky (it was off his butt) but he had a slew of other chances where he just missed. The guy has not only been involved offensively but he's doing great work in his own end as well. He really is a three-zone superstar, which isn't as easy to find as you might think. 10 goals in 12 games. Remember when peopled booed him last year? I bet those same people are cheering him now. Sigh.

- And St. Louis pops in another goal and earns the primary tally on the overtime game-winner. Good to see him finally start finishing with how snakebitten he's been. Moving to the wing helps a lot, to be fair. The two points last night gives him 10 in 12 games. That's more impressive than it looks since him playing at center really hurt his offensive production.

- The one guy on offense I really don't think we're talking about enough is Derick Brassard. He scored the OT goal and had an assist last night, giving him 11 points in 12 games thus far. When Brassard is playing like he is right now, it gives the Rangers a legitimate 1-2 punch down the middle (when Derek Stepan is healthy). He also doesn't seem to mind playing with shooters like Nash and St. Louis, either.

- And maybe Brassard would have had more points if Mats Zuccarello shot the puck more. Zuccarello is the only player I know who can be in the slot with a clear shot at the net and try to pass it across the crease. Just shoot, buddy. It's OK, you're allowed to. Imagine how many more points he'd have right now if he just 50% of the time he tries to make that perfect pass.

- I've said this a lot but I'm really being serious here: John Moore might not be able to get back into the lineup when he returns because of Matt Hunwick. Hunwick threw the perfect home run pass to St. Louis for his breakaway goal in the second, and finished the game with two assists. He now has five assists in 10 games and continues to get the job done in his own end. It's a good problem to have.

- Chris Kreider won't get much credit for it, but his little break out pass to Dominic Moore for the Lee Stempniak goal was a thing of beauty. And Stempniak, who has been playing so well of late, deserved a tally.

- Outside of that soft goal that doesn't go in 999 times out of 1,000, I thought Henrik Lundqvist was good. Really good on the penalty shot and good through the third when the Rangers went into their minor panic

- Anthony Duclair played under 10 minutes. At one point when he was actually playing he deked through two Red Wings and came about an inch away from scoring what would have likely been the goal of the year. But, yeah, no need to have him out there in a close game when you need offense. None at all. Same for Kevin Hayes who I thought would have thrived if given an opportunity to use his size against a smaller Red Wings team.

- Staal and Dan Girardi? Good again. Actually, really good. Girardi -- who earned an assist on the overtime goal -- continues to play over 30 minutes a night and Staal wasn't far behind him. Klein didn't look bad in his return, either. Zuccarello I did think was playing through his injury a little.

Two big points. Stepan's on the way back. Dan Boyle might be back next week. I don't want to say anything optimistic for fear of more injuries so let's just talk about something else.