National Hockey League
- Madison Square Garden PUCK DROP -
Minnesota Wild
ML: MIN +109
NY Rangers Rangers
ML: NYR -120
Goalie Performance
Devan Dubnyk
#40 G Devan Dubnyk
Henrik Lundqvist
#30 G Henrik Lundqvist
0.897 SV% 26 SV
0.889 SV% 16 SV
Scoring Leaders
Ryan Carter
#18 LW Ryan Carter Goals Assists 1 0
Matt Dumba
#24 D Matt Dumba Goals Assists 1 0
Mikael Granlund
#64 C Mikael Granlund Goals Assists 0 1
Ryan McDonagh
#27 D Ryan McDonagh Goals Assists 1 1
Derick Brassard
#16 C Derick Brassard Goals Assists 1 1
J.T. Miller
#10 C J.T. Miller Goals Assists 1 1

NEW YORK — Lethargic. Sloppy. Uninspired.

Those are just a few of the words which described the New York Rangers' putrid first period against the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. The Rangers went to the locker room down two goals and with a look of team-wide frustration.

Whatever was said during the intermission, it did the trick.

The Rangers dominated the final 40 minutes and emerged with a 4-2 victory on the strength of left winger J.T. Miller's eighth goal in eight games and center Derick Brassard's 18th of the season that broke the 2-all tie early in the third period.

"After the first period, we were pretty confident," Brassard said. "We knew we had to step up and our captain brought us right back in the game. From that moment on, we played pretty well and we didn't give them much."

The captain, defenseman Ryan McDonagh, displayed perseverance on his second-period goal that pulled the Rangers to within 2-1. He took a pass from right winger Mats Zuccarello, dragged the puck to the slot, lost it, regained it, then slid it past Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk to begin the rally.

Eighty seconds later, Miller made it 2-2, and the onslaught was under way. The Rangers outshot the Wild 17-4 in the second period and 23-11 over the final two periods to improve to 4-2-0 in their past six games.

"We wanted to respond after what happened with Jersey," said McDonagh, referring to the Rangers (28-18-5) squandering a third-period lead in a loss to the Devils on Tuesday. "We proved to ourselves what we're capable of and how we can use our speed, compete and battle for pucks. What a difference it makes for us to be successful."

Miller, the 15th pick in the 2011 draft, is starting to look like the prospect the Rangers believed he could be. He already has a career in goals (15) and points (27) with 31 games to play in the regular season.

"It's his confidence," goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "He's getting there. He's improving so much, but the biggest thing is probably just confidence, realizing that he is good and he can use all these tools to be a great player."

The Wild, meanwhile, are in a tailspin that could sink their season.

At 1-8-1 in their past 10 games, the Wild (23-19-9) have fallen one point back in the Western Conference wild-card race. Of their 18 shots Thursday, only six were registered by forwards.

"We are a fragile team," Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter said. "They get one (goal) and we go into a shell. We are a team that has no confidence. We have to figure it out fast or it's not going to work."

"You can't play one good period and then two bad ones or two good ones and then one bad one," Wild center Mikko Koivu said. "It doesn't work that way. Teams are so good this time of year. If you can't figure it out, then you are not going to win a lot of hockey games in this league."

For all the problems the Wild after getting goals from left winger Ryan Carter and defenseman Matt Dumba during the first period, the game was still hanging in the balance until left winger Chris Kreider scored an empty-net goal with 1:48 remaining to seal the win.

While confidence is an issue in the Wild locker room, it wasn't the case for the Rangers.

"Even though we were down two," said Lundqvist, who made 16 saves, "we had a good feeling in here that we could turn it around."

Added Rangers coach Alain Vigneault: "Maybe we could have hit the net a little bit more in the first but I thought we were doing what we needed to do to generate some offense. It started paying off in the second and there is no doubt in my mind that we took the game over."

NOTES: Rangers LW Rick Nash (leg) missed his fourth straight game. ... Rangers D Kevin Klein is out indefinitely with a fractured thumb, but coach Alain Vigneault believes he could be back sooner than expected. Klein took part in the morning skate Thursday. ... Rangers LW Tanner Glass was replaced as a healthy scratch by LW Jayson Megna. ... Wild D Ryan Suter played in his 800th NHL game. ... The Wild scratched G Niklas Backstrom, D Christian Folin and C Kevin Porter.
Top Game Performances
Minnesota   NY Rangers
Ryan Carter 1 Points Derick Brassard 2
Ryan Carter 1 Goals Derick Brassard 1
Mikael Granlund 1 Assists Mats Zuccarello 2
Mathew Dumba 1 Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Devan Dubnyk .897 Save Percentage Henrik Lundqvist .889
Devan Dubnyk 26 Saves Henrik Lundqvist 16
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Minnesota 18 2 1-3 3-3 6 27
NY Rangers 30 4 0-3 2-3 6 25
Upcoming Games
  • NY Rangers will play their next game on the road against Philadelphia. The Rangers have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .609 after a loss.
  • Minnesota will play their next game on the road against St. Louis. The Wild have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .407 after a loss.