TweetPinShare0 Shares NEW YORK — 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 Dec. 22 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.(TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer)
Virat Kohli revealed India will experiment widely with their middle-order after India crushed Ireland by 76 runs to go 1-0 up in the two-match India vs Ireland T20I series in Dublin. After Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan set a strong platform for India with a 16-run opening partnership, Kohli sent Suresh Raina up the order at No.3. MS Dhoni walked in at No.4 while Hardik Pandya batted at No.5.Kohli, a constant at No.3 in the shorter formats, batted at No.6 and bagged only his second duck in T20 Internationals.The India skipper was on the verge of a milestone before the match: he needed only 17 to become the fastest ever to reach 2000 T20I runs. Kohli, of course, has the opportunity to get to the coveted club over the next four T20Is against Ireland and England.The 29-year-old, however, said India will continue to experiment with the batting order on Friday and in the three T20Is against England starting next week.MATCH HIGHLIGHTS | REPORTIndia have in their ranks the likes of KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik, who scored heaps of runs in the IPL. These two men will get the chance to play in the final T20I in Dublin and also in England as India seek to find the perfect combination for their ODI line-up.”Look, we’ve already announced we will experiment with the middle-order a lot. Even in the next few T20 games, even in England, we will look to throw in guys and surprise the opposition.advertisement”It presents an opportunity for those lower down the order to go in and bat at the top.”In the next games, we will play the guys who din’t play Wednesday.”We’re going to give everyone a go in this series. The management and me as captain decided it. There’re no mysteries and we looking everyone to give game time,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference.Against Ireland, India really do not have much to worry about.After Rohit (97) and Dhawan (74) helped India post 208/5 off their 20 overs, wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal ran through Ireland’s batting line-up to condemn the hosts to a massive defeat.Kuldeep took career-best figures of 4/21 while Chahal snared 3/38. Jasprit Bumrah also picked two wickets.India had last played the Nidahas Trophy but they had rested some of their key players including Kohli, Dhoni, Pandya, Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar.