New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello
Photo by Bergen Record

After defeating Mike Babcock’s Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers now have the most points in the NHL.

New York Rangers 4 (14-2-2, 30 pts)
Toronto Maple Leafs 3 (5-9-4, 14 pts)
NHL, Eastern Conference, Full Game Box Score
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

By Robby Sabo

There aren’t enough superlatives in the English language to cover how good Mats Zuccarello is right now. Three huge points and a game-winning goal from the man the crowd knows as “Zuuuuc,” and the New York Rangers can now safely stake a claim as the best team in the NHL.

Their 4-3 victory today against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden provided them their 29th and 30th points of the season – two ahead of the idle Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Stars.

Though the Leafs scored first – a five-hole goal from Peter Holland just a little over two minutes into the night – the Blueshirts stayed one step ahead of Mike Babcock’s team. Captain Ryan McDonagh was setup beautifully by who else, Zuccarello for the equalizer, and Derek Stepan did his best Stephen Curry imitation from center-ice.

These two strikes came in the second period.

Although the Rangers stayed one step ahead, it was only because the Leafs never gave up. Their pesky nature made it a tough night for Alain Vigneault’s squad.

Entering the third period tied up at two, that Zuccarello guy came into your picture yet again. Watch this one as he sets up his line-mate, Derrick Brassard, with a beauty in front of the net:

Toronto wouldn’t die. Just under two-minutes later, former Ranger P.A. Parenteau tied the game at three with a strike that beat Antti Raanta.

With things looking like we were destined for overtime, the man of the night (and Rangers MVP of the season), came through yet again. Zuccarello found a rebound and deked one past Jonathan Bernier at the 19:06 mark to win the game for New York:

Zuccarello was obviously named the top star of the night. He collected two highlight-reel assists to go along with his ninth goal of the season. Raanta, starting in place of Henrik Lundqvist during the second game of a back-to-back, was ordinary. He stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced.

Next up for the Rangers will be defending Eastern Conference Champion Lightning in Tampa Bay on Thursday night.

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Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]