Red Wings top Rangers behind Howard’s 32 saves

Detroit Red Wings, Jimmy Howard
Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) stops a shot as New York Rangers' Chris Kreider (20) fights for position during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, in New York.

NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Howard made 32 saves to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

Thomas Vanek and Drew Miller scored for Detroit, which improved to 2-2-0.

After beginning the season with two straight losses, the Red Wings have won consecutive games.

And they have Howard to thank for their latest win as New York had the better of play for wide stretches. The Rangers outshot Detroit 33-18 for the game and Howard was forced into making highlight reel stops to keep the Red Wings in the game.

New York led 1-0 as Mika Zibanejad redirected Ryan McDonagh’s slap shot from the right point past Howard 1:09 into the game. The Rangers carried the 1-0 lead into the first intermission, following an opening 20 minutes in which they outshot the Red Wings 14-7.

Zibanejad’s goal accounted for all of New York’s offense, and the Rangers have alternated wins and losses through their first four games.

Their lead could have been larger as Jimmy Vesey and Brady Skjei had shots that hit goal posts late in the first, and Michael Grabner, Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello all misfired on quality scoring chances in the first three minutes of the second period.

New York’s inability to convert and Howard’s play proved costly when Vanek tied the game 6:15 into the second with a power-play goal.

The game remained tied until 59 seconds into the third period. Luke Glendening’s forecheck forced Henrik Lundqvist into committing a turnover behind his net, and Miller fired a shot into the net before the New York goaltender could fully recover for his first goal of the season.

Jester Fast appeared to tie the game with 3:38 left in regulation by redirecting Kevin Klein’s shot from the point, but the goal was immediately disallowed as the New York wing had played it with a high stick.

Lundqvist made 16 saves on 18 shots.

NOTES: New York D Dan Girardi (strained groin) and LW Pavel Buchnevich (back spasms) each missed their second straight game with injuries, while Rangers D Kevin Klein dressed for the first time this season. He did not play in the Rangers’ first three games due to back spasms. New York also scratched D Dylan McIlrath. . The Red Wings scratched D Ryan Sproul and C Steve Ott. . McDonagh’s wife Kaylee gave birth to the couple’s first child Tuesday, daughter Falan Erin. . Among the 18,006 in attendance were New York Mets P Noah Syndergaard and documentarian Morgan Spurlock.

UP NEXT:

RED WINGS: Detroit hosts Nashville on Friday night.

RANGERS: New York is off until Saturday, when it visits Washington.