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The addition of Brendan Shanahan has provided the New York Rangers with their leading goal scorer. Shanahan's former team, however, is getting by just fine without him.
Shanahan will face the Detroit Red Wings (33-14-6) for the first time since signing with the Rangers (25-23-4) when they meet in the NHL's only game Monday night.
Shanahan scored 309 goals while helping lead Detroit to three Stanley Cups in nine seasons. In 2005-06, the 38-year-old left wing tallied 40 goals - his most since the 1999-2000 season - to help the Red Wings win the Presidents' Trophy for the best regular season record.
Shanahan left Detroit during the offseason, signing a $4 million, one-year contract with New York. The move has paid dividends for the Rangers, as Shanahan recorded points in 12 of his first 13 games with New York and has 26 goals on the season.
Shanahan and the Rangers, though, have some work to do if they want to make the playoffs. They are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference with 54 points, five behind Carolina for the eighth and final playoff spot. New York has lost six of its last nine, including two straight.
Shanahan extended his point streak to three games with an assist Saturday, but the Rangers fell 3-2 to Tampa Bay. He has two goals and two assists during his run.
Shanahan hasn't faced Detroit since March 6, 1996, while with the Hartford Whalers. He didn't have a point in the game, but has 10 goals and 15 assists in 32 career games against the Wings.
Despite Shanahan's departure, Detroit has remained of the Western Conference's best clubs. The Wings got a goal and three assists from Henrik Zetterberg and defeated St. Louis 5-3 on Friday for their 10th straight home win.
Dominik Hasek, who finished with 24 saves, said the Red Wings still need to play better after they gave up three one-goal leads.
"In the end, we won the game. That's most important," Hasek said after Detroit's third straight victory overall. "But, however, I feel like we made many mistakes, many turnovers."
The six-time Vezina Trophy winner has not had great results in his career at Madison Square Garden. He's 5-7-0 with five ties there despite a respectable 2.38 goals-against average and three shutouts.
Zetterberg has two goals and five assists during a three-game point streak after being held scoreless in his previous three contests. He leads the Red Wings with 21 goals.
Detroit has won five straight division titles, but is five points behind first-place Nashville - owner of the league's best record - in the Central Division.
This is the first matchup between the Original Six teams at MSG since the Rangers' 3-1 win Oct. 25, 2003. That was the Red Wings' only loss in their last nine games against New York.
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