Rangers visit Red Wings to begin road trip

( - The New York Rangers hope to get their upcoming road trip off on the right foot Wednesday night when they visit the Detroit Red Wings.

The Rangers take on a number of contenders over this trip as they will also visit Chicago, the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals before capping things against the last-place Buffalo Sabres.

New York would love to keep its momentum going ahead of next Tuesday's encounter with the Islanders, who they trail by one point for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Rangers grabbed a share of first place with Monday's 4-1 home victory over the NHL-leading Nashville Predators, though the Isles regained the edge in the division with last night's overtime loss to the Dallas Stars. It was the Rangers' fifth victory in six games and came in the debut of defenseman Keith Yandle.

The Blueshirts acquired Yandle in a big trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday and he finished with three shots on net while logging 19 minutes and 41 seconds of ice time.

"It was awesome. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome," Yandle said of his debut.

Marc Staal, Chris Kreider, Dominic Moore and Rick Nash all scored for the Rangers, who are 12-2-2 over their past 16 games. Mats Zuccarello, who signed a four-year contract extension on Monday, and Derick Brassard added two assists each.

Nash, meanwhile, snapped a three-game point drought with his 38th goal of the season, second most in the NHL this season.

Cam Talbot turned aside 25 shots as he made his fifth start in a row. Talbot also has played in 13 of the past 14 games for New York as No. 1 netminder Henrik Lundqvist remains sidelined with a neck injury.

Talbot has split two previous meetings with the Red Wings, posting a 2.43 goals against average and .927 save percentage.

The Red Wings return to Detroit off the heels of a 4-1-1 road trip and the club geared up for a playoff push by acquiring a pair of veterans ahead of Monday's trade deadline.

Detroit picked up 36-year-old forward Erik Cole from the Dallas Stars and 38- year-old defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the New Jersey Devils. Both could debut tonight, with Cole possibly sliding in to replace the injured Darren Helm.

Helm suffered an upper-body injury in Saturday's 4-3 victory over the Predators to cap the Red Wings road trip. Tomas Tatar and Alexey Marchenko each scored third-period goals in the rally, while Drew Miller added a goal and an assist.

Jonas Gustavsson came up with 37 saves and Brendan Smith also scored.

"It was a good trip for us," Tatar said. "We proved we can play with the best teams in the league. We were strong the whole trip, and I think we're really happy with how it (went) for us."

Forward Henrik Zetterberg missed his fourth game in a row due to concussion- like symptoms, but returned to practice on Monday and could be cleared to return to action tonight.

The Red Wings own a solid 10-point lead over the fourth-place Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division and trail the Tampa Bay Lightning by three points for second place.

Jimmy Howard will start tonight for the Red Wings and is 3-2-1 with a 1.98 GAA and .946 save percentage in six prior meetings with the Rangers.

The Red Wings snapped a five-game slide to the Rangers with a 3-2 win at Detroit on Dec. 6.