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Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 2, Wings 1 (OT)

By Katie Strang

Recap | Box score | Photos

What it means: Rangers captain Ryan Callahan celebrated his 27th birthday in style, scoring the game-winner with 2:18 left in overtime for a 2-1 Rangers win over Detroit at Madison Square Garden.

With the win, the Rangers restored a three-point lead in the standings over the idle Pittsburgh Penguins. Detroit dropped its sixth straight but moved into sole possession of fourth in the West with a point earned in overtime.

Coast to coast: Brad Richards' 24th goal of the season might have been his best yet. The 31-year-old center went end-to-end, splitting two Detroit defenders inside blue line before beating goaltender Ty Conklin five-hole to tie the game at 1 on a power-play goal at 14:58. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist earned an assist -- his second of the season -- on the play.

Octopus Garden: At least one rogue Red Wings fan managed to foil Madison Square Garden security. After Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit less than four minutes into play, an octopus was flung onto the ice. Although the tradition originated during Red Wings home playoff series -- the eight tentacles represent the number of wins needed to secure the Stanley Cup in the 1950s -- the octopus has since become an unofficial mascot of the team.

Conklin clears, then plays: With goaltenders Jimmy Howard (groin) and Joey MacDonald (back) both ailing, the Red Wings started veteran netminder Ty Conklin. Conklin passed through re-entry waivers earlier Wednesday afternoon Before making his 12th appearance this season for the Wings.

A-OK: Artem Anisimov returned to the lineup after missing two games with a left shoulder injury last week in the Rangers' 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh. Anisimov replaced veteran winger Ruslan Fedotenko, who was scratched along with defensemen Steve Eminger and Jeff Woywitka.

Up next: Rangers vs. Sabres, 7 p.m. Friday.