On his 27th birthday, captain Ryan Callahan scored the OT winner to lift the Rangers over the Detroit Red Wings. The goal was his 27th of the season and a very important one for the Rangers as they jockey for playoff position with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A few weeks ago it seemed a forgone conclusion that the Rangers would win the Atlantic Division and own the Eastern Conference’s top seed come playoff time. However, the Penguins are surging (12-0-1 in last 13 games) and have tightened both races.

The Rangers became complacent in late February and early March, going 4-4-2 during a stretch that included a 3-game losing streak. Now, with the Penguins creeping up behind them,  the Rangers have stepped up their game and are playing better hockey, winning four of their last six.

The Rangers last two victories were big ones. Defeating the Devils and the Red Wings are a sign that the Rangers are back on track. With only nine games left, they need to stay poised in order to maintain first place and carry momentum in the playoffs.