Mats Zuccarello saves Talbot and Rangers from disaster (NYR 5 v. TOR 4)

Mats Zuccarello scores the easiest goal of his career (photo: Graig Abel/Getty Images)

Mats Zuccarello scores the easiest goal of his career (photo: Graig Abel/Getty Images)

That was a close one. New York was up 4-2 to start the third period with a 22-0-1 record when leading after two. The Leafs played with a nothing to lose attitude and tied the game. Panic!

RANGERS 5 vs. LEAFS 4

NYR at TOR 2.10.14 (ESPN)

NYR at TOR 2.10.14 (ESPN)

Alain Vigneault admitted that in the third period the Rangers “got on our heels a little bit.” Fortunately for them Rick Nash’s nifty passing and not his goal scoring ability saved the day. Nash set up 3 goals, two by Mats Zuccarello.

Prior the game, AV said he wanted Zucc to shoot more. Norway’s biggest star listened and delivered. Zuccarello fired 5 shots on goal and notched 2 tallies including the game winner late in the third period. His play in February has seen a resurgence with 3 goals and 7 points in 5 games. That’s the kind of production that the Rangers need and may earn him his new contract on Broadway.

On the opposite end, Cam Talbot has struggled in his new role as leading man. A solid goaltender in his own right, he seem to be lacking that big save ability that covers up mistakes his teammates make. The kind of saves that Rangers fans take Lundqvist for granted on.

Talbot is 2-1-1 in 4 starts as the #1 guy, but his numbers are awful beyond that. His GAA is at 4.00 and his SV% is .882 in these games. After the game, Talbot spoke about letting up in the third, “we can’t have any letdowns, myself included.”

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Ultimately, the Rangers found a way to get two big points in the face of adversity. Alain Vigneault said, “They had a real strong push, but at the end of the night it’s about finding ways to win and that’s what we did.”

NOTES

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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