Rangers eye another win over Red Wings

(SportsNetwork.com) - The well-rested New York Rangers aim to continue their recent dominance of the Detroit Red Wings when the Original Six rivals meet Saturday in the Motor City.

The Rangers have won five straight overall against Detroit, but New York has found road victories against the Red Wings hard to come by in recent years.

The Blueshirts halted a six-game road skid against the Wings the last time they visited Joe Louis Arena, picking up a 3-2 overtime victory on Oct. 26 of last season. It was only New York's third win in the last 23 trips to Motown, as Detroit holds a 17-2-1 record with three ties over that span.

Detroit owns a strong 10-3-2 record as the host in 2014-15.

New York had a two-game win streak halted when it last played, dropping Monday's home decision against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. It also was the Rangers' third loss in the last seven games with all three setbacks during that span coming against the Lightning.

Tyler Johnson had two goals and an assist to lead the Lightning to Monday's 6-3 win at Madison Square Garden. The decisive victory capped a season-series sweep for Tampa against the Rangers.

"We have to find a way to play better against these teams at the top of the standings," Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said.

Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast and Martin St. Louis all lit the lamp for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist allowed five goals on 20 shots in the loss.

Cam Talbot will start in place of Lundqvist tonight. New York's backup netminder is 2-2-1 on the season, but posted consecutive shutout victories -- both against Philadelphia -- in his last two outings.

Talbot won his only career appearance against the Red Wings, stopping 32-of-34 shots in a 3-2 overtime win on Oct. 26 of last season. That road victory was the first win of Talbot's NHL career.

Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle sat out his second straight game with flu-like symptoms, while forward Tanner Glass sat out his third consecutive tilt with the same ailment. Boyle is expected to return to the lineup tonight, while Glass will not make the trip to Detroit.

Detroit will aim for a second straight win and a sixth victory in seven games when it takes the ice tonight.

The Red Wings had a four-game winning streak snapped in Tuesday's loss to Florida, but rebounded nicely with Thursday's 5-2 triumph over Dallas. The win over the Stars gave Detroit a 2-1-0 record on a four-game homestand that ends tonight.

Darren Helm scored two goals to help the Red Wings down the Stars. Stephen Weiss recorded a goal and two assists, while Pavel Datsyuk and Kyle Quincey each had a goal and an assist. Jimmy Howard made 22 saves in the win.

"We wanted a bounce back after the way we played the other night," said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. "We weren't very happy leaving the rink the other night about our work ethic, our compete and preparation.

"Tonight I thought we were good in all aspects. I thought we had some good games from guys and in the end we won the game."

Detroit will play its third straight game tonight without Justin Abdelkader, who is sidelined with a separated left shoulder suffered in Sunday's win over Vancouver. The forward also has been ruled out for tomorrow's game in Carolina.