Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant reacts in the first period...

Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant reacts in the first period of an NHL game against the Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 19. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

DETROIT — Gerard Gallant played eight-and-a-half seasons as a power forward for the Detroit Red Wings, scoring 30-or-more goals four times. And on the Rangers’ only trip to Detroit this season, Gallant, the Rangers coach, said it is always special when he comes back to the Motor City.

“I had a lot of great years here, obviously, and there are great people here, good friends,’’ Gallant said Tuesday, before his Rangers concluded a brief, two-game road trip with a 5-4 overtime victory over the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. “So it's great every time you come back here. I loved my time here and the 9, 10 years I spent here was great.’’

But, he said, he doesn’t make a point to follow what the Red Wings are doing on a nightly basis.

“No, no, no, I follow the team I'm coaching,’’ Gallant said.

Blue notes

The victory was the Rangers’ 11th win in March (11-4), setting a franchise record for wins in the month of March. They’ve won 11 games in a single month eight times . . . Besides starting Alexandar Georgiev in goal, in place of Igor Shesterkin, Gallant made one change to the lineup that beat Pittsburgh, 3-2, Tuesday night. He inserted veteran Greg McKegg at center on the fourth line, replacing Jonny Brodzinski. McKegg had missed the previous four games, ever since the Rangers acquired forwards Tyler Motte and Andrew Copp at the Mar. 21 trade deadline. Ryan Strome, who came on the trip with the team, missed both games with a lower body injury, while Brodzinski and RW Julien Gauthier, and Ds Justin Braun and Libor Hajek, were healthy scratches . . . Following the road trip, the Rangers have 14 games remaining and 10 of them are at home. The only road games remaining are against the Islanders, Devils, Flyers and Boston Bruins . . . The Rangers’ record in the second night of back-to-back sets is 7-4-1.

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