“We had many guys out,” the sixth-year star goaltender said. “We tried to rebuild the team a little bit. We’re trying to get everybody on the same page.”
An increasing number of injuries forced the Rangers to use six rookies in the lineup, and New York was without defenseman Dan Girardi(notes) (ribs, face) and forward Brandon Prust(notes) (foot) for much of the game.
Neither is expected to miss significant time, good news for a team that lost forwards Brandon Dubinsky(notes) and Ruslan Fedotenko(notes) this week to injuries. Prust, who had a shot hit his foot, said X-rays were negative.
Lundqvist stopped 20 shots through overtime and then was perfect in four shootout rounds for the Rangers, who avoided losing for the fourth time in five games over seven days. Wojtek Wolski(notes) added a second-period goal for New York.
“We’re not in an easy spot,” Lundqvist said, “but we’re doing the best we can now to get points.”
Stewart’s 12th goal gave the Thrashers a 2-1 lead 18:01 into the second period. Bryan Little’s(notes) shot from the right circle glanced off Stewart’s backside, but Stewart gained control of the puck and scored to Lundqvist’s glove side.
Atlanta made it 1-0 on Antropov’s tip-in—his eighth goal—6:47 into the first.
“We got a point, but they have to understand the timing of this,” Ramsay said. “Playing well is a good thing. Winning is better. We have to be willing to pay the price in the third period to win.”
Wolski scored his ninth goal to lift the Rangers into a 1-1 tie at 2:43 of the second period. He was skating toward the bottom of the slot when Derek Stepan(notes) sent a pass to him from the right circle.
The Thrashers seemed to get a boost from a penalty-killing unit that started the night ranked next to last in the NHL.
Boyle set up his 17th goal, tied for the most on the Rangers, with a hit on defenseman Johnny Oduya(notes). As both he and Byfuglien skated past the Atlanta blue line, Boyle slid the puck behind the defenseman before regaining it and beating Pavelec with a wrister.
“I tried to chip it,” Boyle said. “I got some room. I tried to go for a backhand with my forehand. Some holes opened up, and it trickled in.”
Zuccarello was glad to sneak away with a win, particularly considering the Rangers began the game with six forwards on the injured list.
“Battling hard and losing two guys and having other players step up really hard was big,” he said. “Boyle doing a hell of a job on the last goal, and (Lundqvist) is tremendous again. It’s just a team effort and a great victory.”
Notes: Zuccarello, a rookie in his 15th game, has scored on all three of his NHL shootout tries with two deciding goals. … Wolski has three goals and six points in six games since the Rangers acquired him from Phoenix on Jan. 10 for defenseman Michal Rozsival(notes). … New York captain Chris Drury(notes) has no goals in 19 games since returning from a broken finger. … Girardi was trying to avenge a clean hit on defense partner Marc Staal(notes) when he grabbed Ladd’s jersey and fought the forward.