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Rangers top Wild on Tony DeAngelo's overtime goal in Mats Zuccarello's return to New York

Tony DeAngelo of the Rangers celebrates his overtime

Tony DeAngelo of the Rangers celebrates his overtime goal against the Wild at Madison Square Garden on Monday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

There were plenty of raw emotions around Madison Square Garden on Monday night.

One of the Garden’s all-time favorites, Mats Zuccarello, made his first trip to Broadway as a visiting player, wearing the colors of the Minnesota Wild.

And the Rangers, coming off a wild and crazy victory over the Canadiens in Montreal on Saturday in which they rallied from a four-goal deficit and playing what they hope will be their final game without Mika Zibanejad, hoped to overcome whatever emotions they may have been dealing with and play the kind of hockey that wins.

Tony DeAngelo’s goal 32 seconds into overtime gave the Rangers a 3-2 win over the Wild, and with Zibanejad expected to return for Wednesday’s game against Carolina after missing 13 games with an upper-body injury, the Rangers (11-9-2) have survived his absence impressively, going 8-4-1 without him.

On what turned out to be the winning play, DeAngelo thought about passing the puck to Artemi Panarin but changed his mind, drove down the middle and beat Alex Stalock for his seventh goal of the season.

“I didn’t think I’d have any chance when it developed, because they had two guys coming toward me there, and Bread [Panarin] was coming behind me,’’ DeAngelo said. “I was getting ready to drop it off and let him have the trouble, but they both went to him. So it was just easy for me to spin off and drive the middle there.’’

“It was a great scissor by Tony and Bread, and he saw that lane,’’ coach David Quinn said. “Once he came over the top, there was a little bit of parting of the Red Sea, and he did a great job holding on to it. I mean, if he had passed it, I would have thrown up on the bench.’’

Henrik Lundqvist, who had cried when talking about his pal Zuccarello after his trade to Dallas last February, got to visit with him Sunday and play against him Monday.   

If the game had gone to a shootout, Lundqvist might have had to stare down Zuccarello, who is quite good in the tiebreaker. When the goalie was asked if he had considered that, he laughed.

“I was excited and happy that we ended it right away [in overtime],’’ he said. “It would have been a long season, a long summer, if [Zuccarello] came out there and scored, for sure. I’d change my [phone] number, probably.’’

Lundqvist moved past Curtis Joseph into fifth place on the all-time list of career goaltending wins with 455. “It’s a pretty surreal thing to be able to do it,’’ he said of passing Joseph. “And you realize what it is: It’s a team thing, for sure. They helped me get there, and that’s why I appreciate all the players I played with, and the teams . . . It’s a cool thing and I’m proud of it.’’

The Garden showed a tribute video to Zuccarello at the first TV timeout that ended with a picture of him and the words “Thank You Zucc.’’ Zuccarello, sitting on the bench, stood and waved as the fans chanted  “Zuuuuuuuuuuc!’’ Then he jumped over the boards, skated around and waved again.

And then the teams had to go back to playing hockey. The Rangers took the lead on Brady Skjei’s goal at 14:50 of the first period, but the Wild tied it when Zach Parise got free at the right post for a back-door tap-in of a pass from Kevin Fiala at 17:11.

Ryan Donato’s goal at 10:00 of the third period put the Wild ahead 2-1, but Ryan Hartman, who assisted on that goal, was sent off for tripping and the Rangers tied it on the power play as Chris Kreider banged in the rebound of Panarin’s shot at 17:10.

Panarin assisted on all three goals.

New York Sports