Barclay Goodrow’s huge night lifts Rangers to win over Red Wings

DETROIT — The scoresheet rarely reveals just how integral Barclay Goodrow is to this Rangers team, but it did Friday night. 

Behind the third multi-goal game of Goodrow’s 10-year NHL career, the Blueshirts powered to a 4-3 win over the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena in order to make Detroit’s pursuit of a playoff spot a little more difficult. 

As the first team to clinch this season, the Rangers have been in pursuit of solidifying their playoff lineup — and they may have discovered a new option with Goodrow on the left wing of the fourth line. 

New York Rangers center Barclay Goodrow (21) celebrates his goal with center Jonny Brodzinski (22) during the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

“He’s a blood-and-guts kind of guy and you need those guys in your lineup,” head coach Peter Laviolette said of Goodrow. “It’s nice to see him have a night like that, have a really big night offensively.” 

After scoring just once through his first 71 games of the season, Goodrow now has three goals in the last four games, including the two he posted Friday night. 

The utility forward was everywhere in this one: On the forecheck, in the middle of plays and landing haymakers in the corner when called upon. 

Robby Fabbri #14 of the Detroit Red Wings and Barclay Goodrow #21 of the New York Rangers get into a fight during the first period at Little Caesars Arena on April 5, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. ( NHLI via Getty Images

In the third season of a six-year, $21.85 million deal, Goodrow catches a lot of flak for how his production — or lack thereof — correlates with his contract.

Goodrow acknowledged that his production matters, saying that he’d obviously like to do it more often, but his teammates made sure to highlight everything else the 31-year-old does on a day-to-day basis. 

“The amount of work he puts in and what he means to this team, leadership wise and his effort every day, for him to get two goals tonight and help us win that game like that, it’s unbelievable,” said goalie Jonathan Quick, who made 31 saves in his 393rd career victory. “All year he’s blocking shots, winning draws, playing the hard minutes. I’m excited for him.” 

Laviolette tried something new with his fourth line, plugging Jonny Brodzinski in for Matt Rempe and flipping Goodrow to the left wing and Brodzinski to the middle.

Jonathan Quick #32 of the New York Rangers celebrates the victory over the Detroit Red Wings with Barclay Goodrow #21 and Jacob Trouba #8 at Little Caesars Arena. NHLI via Getty Images

This allowed the Rangers bench boss to keep Will Cuylle with Alex Wennberg and Kaapo Kakko together. 

It paid dividends in the first period, when Cuylle intercepted a backpass and wristed it home from the top of the faceoff circle to open the scoring for the Rangers. 

Despite the fact that ex-Blueshirt Andrew Copp answered for the Red Wings just 1:11 later, the Rangers’ new-look fourth line of Goodrow, Brodzinski and Jimmy Vesey gave their team a boost. 

Robby Fabbri took exception to a hit Goodrow landed on Shayne Gostisbehere, which prompted the Detroit forward to go after Goodrow.

As if he didn’t get enough licks in during the Rangers’ five-on-five line brawl against the Devils on Wednesday, which got him ejected, Goodrow dropped the gloves — well, one glove — to tango with Fabbri. 

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Lyon (34) makes a save in front of defenseman Jake Walman (96) and New York Rangers center Barclay Goodrow (21) during the game at Little Caesars Arena. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The Rangers earned a power play out of the whole exchange since Fabbri was hit with an extra roughing minor.

And Goodrow later buried a loose puck from between the circles for the 2-1 edge. 

After the Red Wings scored twice to take their first lead of the night in the second period, Goodrow netted his second of the game — on a rebound his line generated off the rush — while he was back at center. 

Chris Kreider’s power-play goal in the third period ultimately stood as the game-winner. 

“He’s a big part of our team, a leader on our team,” Vesey said of Goodrow, whose last multi-goal game came on Dec. 31, 2021. “A guy that’s a character guy and always doing the right things, working hard. It’s great to see him get rewarded, especially heading into the playoffs.”

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