NEW YORK – Mats Zuccarello scored his first NHL goal 3:09 into overtime and Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves to lift the New York Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.
Zuccarello, the 5-foot-7 forward from Norway, scored in his sixth NHL game. He got to a rebound after Brandon Dubinsky charged in on goalie Cam Ward and scored from a near-impossible angle on the goal line with a drive underneath the crossbar.
Zuccarello and Dubinsky also assisted on Matt Gilroy's goal that snapped a scoreless tie 8:41 into the third period.
Eric Staal ruined Lundqvist's shutout bid with 6:14 left in regulation to force overtime. but Carolina had its three-game winning streak against the Rangers broken. The Hurricanes have lost two in a row in overtime following a three-game winning run.
Staal did it all on Carolina's goal. He started the play by winning a faceoff in the New York end, then got to a rebound in front. He let go a shot as he dived through the air that got by Lundqvist for his 19th goal.
The Rangers managed to pull out the win despite a continuation of their offensive struggles. New York managed only four goals on a three-game trip in which the Rangers lost twice (1-1-1). Three of those goals were scored in the trip-opening victory over New Jersey.
New York salvaged a point in a 2-1 overtime loss to Tampa Bay before falling 3-0 at Florida on Sunday with backup Martin Biron in goal.
Gilroy, who was a healthy scratch for the ninth time in 15 games on Sunday, made the most of his return to the lineup when he netted his third of the season. After Dubinsky worked the puck behind the Carolina net, Zuccarello sent a pass out to the high slot to Gilroy, who fired a shot through traffic and over Ward's right pad.
Ward was the hard-luck loser in this one despite being sharp in making 33 saves. It was the seventh straight start for Ward, who had allowed at least three goals in all but one of those outings — a shutout win on Dec. 29 at Ottawa.
The second period provided even less action than the first, but the Rangers turned around the shot totals. After trailing 13-8 after the first, New York held a 15-8 edge in the second when they had one full power play and started a second in the closing seconds.
The intrigue on that one was Eric Staal took a charging penalty against his brother Marc, a Rangers defenseman.
Marc Staal had a prime scoring chance with 2:13 left in the second when his rising drive was grabbed by the outstretched glove of Ward. Just seconds later, Alex Frolov was late in getting to a loose puck after it got behind Ward. Hurricanes defenseman Joe Corvo swept it out of danger in the crease.
Carolina had two power plays in the first period, that also featured a fight between New York's Brandon Prust and Hurricanes counterpart Troy Bodie.
NOTES: Eric Staal played in his 518th game, putting him alone in eighth on the Hurricanes' franchise list. ... Rangers D Ryan McDonagh, recalled Monday from Connecticut of the AHL, was scratched. He has yet to make his NHL debut. ... Zuccarello had one assist in his first five games.