Mats Zuccarello had little to celebrate six games into his second stint with the New York Rangers.
The 5-foot-7-inch spark plug had no goals and two assists in his return. Demanding coach John Tortorella wasn’t pleased with the lack of production.
On Wednesday, before the Rangers took the ice for the back end of a home-and-home series with Toronto, Tortorella called out Zuccarello, saying he needed to score — in games and in shootouts.
The message got through in a hurry. Zuccarello scored the lone goal in the shootout, and the Rangers overcame another two-goal performance by Phil Kessel to beat the Maple Leafs, 3-2, Wednesday night in New York.
The Rangers moved back into seventh place in the Eastern Conference with only eight games left.
‘‘I feel more confident and am playing with good players and getting big minutes,’’ said Zuccarello, a Norway native who had eight goals and 26 points in 52 games with the Rangers the previous two seasons. ‘‘I just have to keep creating chances and work hard, and it’s going to come.’’
Canucks 4, Flames 1 — Roberto Luongo, in a surprise start, made 40 saves and Maxim Lapierre scored the go-ahead goal as vlsiting Vancouver topped Calgary
Andrew Ebbett centered a pass that Lapierre swatted behind Miikka Kiprusoff from the top of the crease, breaking a 1-1 tie with 9:23 left in regulation.
Avalanche 4, Ducks 1 — Matt Duchene had a goal and an assist, and NHL-worst Colorado prevented host Anaheim from clinching a playoff spot.
Coyotes 3, Oilers 1 — David Moss and Boyd Gordon each had a goal and an assist as visiting Phoenix stayed firmly in the playoff picture with a victory over Edmonton.