Zuccarello scores in OT, slumping Rangers beat Ducks 3-2
NEW YORK (AP) The slumping New York Rangers needed something good to happen heading into hockey's holiday break and they got it in overtime from Mats Zuccarello.
Zuccarello scored a power-play goal at 2:37 of the extra session and the Rangers beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 Tuesday night for their fourth win in 15 games.
''It was a must-win for us for so many reasons,'' said Henrik Lundqvist, who made 17 saves. ''Going into this break you try to feel good about yourself and the game. I think you could tell it was two teams that were looking for a good feeling out there. It was a very tight game and hard to create chances. In the end, all that matters is the win. It was nice to see.''
Derrick Brassard had two goals and an assist as the Rangers snapped a three-game losing streak in what has been an up-and-down season.
New York opened 16-3-2 but is 4-9-2 in the last 15 games.
The Rangers got the power play in overtime when defenseman Cam Fowler was called for holding New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh as he broke into the offensive zone.
Dan Boyle made a cross-ice pass to Zuccarello in the right circle for a shot that beat John Gibson for his 15th goal of the season.
''It was nice to get a power-play goal at the end there, so it was a really great win for us,'' Zuccarello said. ''When we lose, no one is more upset than the guys in this room. But we have to stick together.''
Corey Perry and Rickard Rakell scored for the Ducks, who lost their second in as many nights and for the fourth time in five games. Gibson stopped 19 shots.
''We got ourselves an opportunity to win the game and just made too many mistakes, myself included,'' Fowler said. ''It's a tough thing right now but we're going to go into the break and recharge and get ready for the latter half of the season.''
The Rangers were within 2:54 of winning the game in regulation when Rakell tied the score with a shot from the left circle that appeared to deflect off McDonagh's stick.
Until that point, it appeared Brassard's second goal of the game earlier in the period was going to be the winner.
Zuccarello set it up by stealing a pass from Jiri Sekac deep in the Ducks' zone and finding Brassard alone in front for his 13th goal.
A little less than 2 minutes later, Lundqvist made his best save, going side-to-side in the net to make a sprawling stop of a shot by Rakell from the left circle. However, the forward got even late with his seventh goal.
Both teams came into the game struggling and it showed. There were only 23 shots in the first two periods, which ended tied 1-all. Both goals seemed to come out of nowhere.
Perry got his 11th of the season, collecting a loose puck between the circles in front of Lundqvist, turning and firing a shot into the upper corner.
Brassard scored his 12th on his own. He stole a pass by Ducks defenseman Josh Manson in front of the Anaheim net and beat Gibson with a shot to the lower corner.
The game was Carl Hagelin's first against the Rangers since being traded to Anaheim in the offseason. He played his first four seasons in New York. He was introduced to the crowd during the first period and got a warm ovation.
NOTES: There were two fights. Patrick Maroon of the Ducks and Tanner Glass of the Rangers in the first, and Ryan Kesler of the Ducks and J.T. Miller of the Rangers in the second. ... Anaheim forward Andrew Cogliano (655) and New York defenseman Keith Yandle (505) have the two longest active consecutive games streaks. ... Anaheim forward Chris Stewart and defenseman Korbinian Holzer were healthy scratches. ... The only other time the teams meet in the regular season will be March 16 in California.