Zuccarello OT Goal Gives Rangers Much-Needed Win

Mats Zuccarello scored a power play goal 2:37 into overtime, giving the Rangers a stirring 3-2 win Tuesday night at The Garden. The slumping Blueshirts had lost three in a row and were 3-9-2 in their previous 14 games.

Derick Brassard had two goals and an assist to lead the Rangers’ offense. Henrik Lundqvist made 17 saves for his 16th win of the season.

The game started slowly for the Rangers, as so many recent games have; they only mustered five shots on goal in the 1st period. Corey Perry gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead 11:15 into the period, on a shot into the upper corner of the goal, over Lundqvist’s shoulder. Brassard tied it 1-1 at 17:50 of the period, on an unassisted goal.

Neither team scored in the 2nd period. In the 3rd period, the Rangers started the period like gangbusters, perhaps feeling a sense of growing desperation. Being more physical, getting more shots off, playing with a sense of urgency. That pace paid off  when Brassard scored at 2:44, off a terrific pass from Zuccarello, to make it 2-1.

But the Ducks tied the score 2-2 with just 2:54 to play, when Rickard Rakell scored his 7th of the season, on a laser, with traffic in front of Lundqvist, sending the game to overtime.

Cam Fowler was called for holding 1:09 into the OT, giving the Rangers a 4-on-3 power play, and Zuccarello made it count, scoring the game-winner at 2:37, off a cross-ice pass from Dan Boyle; it was Zuccarello’s 15th goal of the season, and The Garden erupted in what could best be described as a cathartic roar.

The Rangers [now 20-12-4, 44 pts] are off until Monday the 28th, when they play the Predators in Nashville.