IRA PODELL, AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Mats Zuccarello broke up a scoreless duel between two Olympic goalies when he scored with 5:58 remaining, lifting the New York Rangers to a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.
Zuccarello floated a puck over Detroit’s Jimmy Howard when he drove to the net, putting New York’s 45th shot of the night into the net. That was enough for Henrik Lundqvist to earn his third shutout of the season and 48th in his NHL career.
Lundqvist, who made his sixth straight start, stopped 38 shots. Gustav Nyquist slipped a shot behind him with 44.5 seconds remaining, but Lundqvist reached back to cover the puck just before it crossed the line.
Howard made 47 saves.
The Red Wings were shut out for the second straight game, both times 1-0. Detroit, which hasn’t scored a power-play goal in six games in 2014, was beaten at Anaheim on Sunday.
The Rangers bounced back from a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday and completed a 3-1 homestand. New York is 9-3-1 in its last 13 games.
The second period played out much like the first with Lundqvist of Sweden, and American goalie Howard staring each other down at opposite ends of the rink, waiting to see which one would crack first.
Howard was the busier of the two, stopping 17 shots in the second after making 18 saves in the first. Lundqvist followed up his 15-save performance of the first with a 10-stop effort in the second.
As good as Howard was, in particular with a lunging glove grab from a seated position to nab Carl Hagelin’s shot, he got a bit of help from Kyle Quincey. The defenseman blocked a shot from Ryan Callahan that got behind Howard, and then swept the puck out of danger in the crease as the crowd cheered and groaned with 2 1-2 minutes left in the second.
Lundqvist made stellar saves against Luke Glendening and Drew Miller midway through the period to match Howard.
Both goalies were also heavily tested in the first period, weathering several storms around their net.
Howard was sharp in turning aside an in-close chance by Derek Stepan just 3:17 in, and then flashed his glove to knock away Brad Richards’ drive 40 seconds later after he was set up by Hagelin. Howard was then drilled in the mask by Benoit Pouliot’s hard shot from the left point. Howard covered up the loose puck and tucked his head down to shake off the effects of the puck striking him up high.
Lundqvist held his ground against Olympic teammate Henrik Zetterberg in front during the first of Detroit’s two power plays in the opening period and then made three rapid-fire saves as Detroit pushed for the game’s first goal in a final-minute flurry of the opening frame.
NOTES: Lundqvist has given up fewer than three goals in six of his last eight starts. … Detroit was again without veteran forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Pavel Datsyuk. Alfredsson (back spasms) missed has third game, and Datsyuk (lower body) sat out his fifth. … Next week marks the 70th anniversary of the Red Wings’ 15-0 win over the Rangers in Detroit — Jan. 23, 1944 — the most lopsided game in NHL history. … Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay, who played 14 seasons with the Red Wings, received a standing ovation from the Madison Square Garden crowd when introduced on video board.
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