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Recap: Late rally comes up short as Panthers fall 4-3 to Rangers

Cats come within a whisker of extending point streak

Florida Panthers v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Florida Panthers made a furious third period push, but ultimately fell short, losing in regulation for the first time by a 4-3 count to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

New York scored twice in the first period and tacked on two more in the second before the Cats mounted a third period comeback.

Chris Krieder got the game’s first goal at the 7:52 mark when he knocked in a rebound after Spencer Knight made a good save on Mika Zibanejad’s redirection of Artemi Panarin’s centering feed from the right corner. Carter Verhaeghe’s hi-sticking minor on Ryan Lindgren put the Rangers up on a man.

It looked like the teams would go to the dressing room with the home side up a goal, but the Panthers got too passive while on a power play and allowed the shorthanded Rangers to enter the zone and score 3-on-4 when a nifty pass by Barclay Goodrow found a wide open Adam Fox, who beat Knight with a backhander. Sam Reinhart was the Panthers culprit this time as he decided to head to the boards to help out on Goodrow instead of staying high to pick up the late man in Fox. Zibanejad drew the secondary assist on the goal that came with just 12 second left in the period. Florida hadn’t trailed by more than one goal in ten straight games and it would get worse...

K’Andre Miller took a pass from Krieder and went end-to-end, wheeling around MacKenzire Weegar and roofing one on Knight to make it 3-0 at 12:48 of the second.

The opportunistic Rangers added another thirty second later after Jacob Trouba picked off an errant Gustav Forsling pass in the neutral zone leading to a rush that ended with Panarin setting up Ryan Strome for an easy goal.

Florida opened the third period with an effective shift and crashed the net resulting in Eetu Luostarinen’s fourth goal of the season just 20 seconds into frame. Aaron Ekblad fed Mason Marchment in the slot and his shot rang off the post. Luostarinen got it to go after Patric Hornqvist and Marchment helped dig the puck loose from underneath Igor Shesterkin, who stopped 28 shots over the first two periods.

The Panthers kept coming and Shesterkin kept stopping them until Reinhart took a pass from Owen Tippett and unleashed a wrist from the high slot to halve the deficit with a 1:26 left in regulation. Forsling picked up the second assist on Reinhart’s third.

With Knight off for an extra attacker, Aleksander Barkov won an offensive draw and an off balance Hornqvist was able to gather the puck after Zibanejad missed it and fire a quick, low shot that went off Maxim Mamim and between Shesterkin’s legs to pull the Cats within a goal at 19:20.

Hornqvist got one more chance with time running out, but his shot was deflected just wide off of the goal and the Rangers held on to end Florida’s eleven-game point streak.

The Panthers started slow and were sloppy and they paid for it, with the shorty by Fox and the highlight reel rush by Miller being particularly hard to swallow. They gave up a power-play goal, a shorthanded goal and two at 4-on-4. Can’t really fault the overall effort, though. The Cats out-shot the Rangers by a whopping 45-18 margin and despite the warts, likely would’ve won the game if not for the heroic effort of Shesterkin, who picked up First Star honors, despite giving up three goals.

Bulls & Bears

  • Aleksander Barkov had an assist and six shots on goal in 20:13 TOI in his return to the ice after missing Saturday’s win against the Carolina, Barkov also won 12 of 21 faceoffs.
  • Igor Shesterkin’s 42 saves were a season high. He made 11 saves in the first period, an incredible 17 in the second and 14 more in the third.
  • Patric Hornqvist posted his first multi-point game of the season and matched Barkov’s game-high six shots on goal. He also led the Cats with four hits.
  • The Rangers appeared to take a three-goal lead midway through the game, but a goal by Artemi Panarin was taken back because of goaltender interference.
  • Spencer Knight stopped 14 shots and lost in regulation for the first time in his career.
  • For more on Florida’s streak-busting loss, visit Blueshirt Banter.

Video Recap (courtesy of NHL.com)