Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Mats Zuccarello scored the winner in the shootout as the New York Rangers took a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.
Zuccarello was the second shooter for New York and he went from the backhand to the forehand before sliding a low shot past Ondrej Pavelec. Niclas Bergfors was the last chance for the Thrashers, but Henrik Lundqvist made a blocker save on the backhander for the win.
Brian Boyle and Wojtek Wolski each had a goal for the Rangers, who came into the game having lost four of six. Lundqvist stopped 20 shots in the win.
Nik Antropov and Anthony Stewart both scored for the Thrashers, who have lost six of seven. Pavelec stopped 29 shots in the loss.
“We need to win, there’s no doubt about it,” Atlanta head coach Craig Ramsay said. “We have to be willing to pay the price in the third period to win games. Everybody has to be involved and we have to find a way to win.”
The Thrashers got the only goal of the first period at the 6:47 mark when Tobias Enstrom blasted a shot from the high slot that Antropov tipped past Lundqvist.
Pavelec turned aside 11 shots in the opening frame to keep the Rangers off the board.
However, New York tied the game 2:43 into the second as Wojtek Wolski redirected a pass in front of the net by Pavelec for his ninth goal of the season.
With just 1:59 to play in the second, Atlanta regained the lead as a snap shot from Bryan Little at the left circle hit Stewart, who then swept it in from in front for his 12th goal of the year.
Boyle scored on a wrister from the slot with 5:19 to play in the third to tie the game.
“I’ve said it all year long, it’s an easy team to like,” said New York head coach John Tortorella about his group. “We played as a team and you have to give them high marks tonight since we found a way to win.”
Atlanta plays in Tampa Bay on Sunday…The Rangers play at Washington on Monday…Atlanta took a 6-4 decision in New York on October 27 and had won six of seven in the series prior to the setback…Neither team scored on the power play as Atlanta had three chances and New York two.