Following a 5-0 loss in Tampa Bay, the New York Rangers took the ice tonight looking to rebound against the pesky Florida Panthers. Being 3-1-1 in their last five, the Panthers have been playing some good hockey as of late. Their recent coaching change has treated the Panthers well, and the Rangers couldn’t take Florida lightly.
The game started off pretty tight, with teams exchanging chances back and forth. After a few good shifts by the Panthers, the Rangers fourth line came out, had a fantastic shift, and drew a penalty. A few moments later, and some tic-tac-toe passing between Zuccarello and Stepan, Brassard finished off the sequence by re-directing the puck past Tim Thomas to give the Rangers an early lead.
The Rangers controlled the rest of the first period, but couldn’t muster up anything else. As the second period rolled around, the tides changed too. The Panthers came out with a forecheck that the Rangers had no answers for. Between good defensive positioning, and the King doing his thing, the Rangers held off a strong Panthers attack. Late in the period, Richards found himself with the puck off a rush. He threw the puck on net, and with two Panthers screening Thomas, the puck went through his legs. The Rangers were leading 2-0 after two.
Being 8-0 this season when bringing leads into the third, the Rangers looked to add too their streak. Not too far into that period, Rick Nash found himself with the puck in the slot and he buried it to give the Rangers a 3-0. The Rangers appeared to have this game on lock, and I found myself watching the game with ease. Sure enough, it is Rangers hockey and they just don’t like to make things easy on us fans. After a bad Zuccarello turnover, and a very weak goal through the legs of Lundqvist, it was now a 3-2 game. Florida goals were given credit to Scottie Upshall and Nick Bjugstad. Shortly after being back on the edge of my seat, Callahan drew another penalty for the Rangers. On that ensuing power play, Zuccarello batted the puck through Thomas’ legs, putting the Rangers up two with less than two minutes remaining. Carl Hagelin added an empty netter to put the icing on the cake, and the Rangers defeated the Panthers 5-2.
The Rangers, now 13-12 on the year have Thanksgiving off, and are right back on the ice in Boston Friday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Have a good Thanksgiving everyone. Lets go Rangers!
-Anthony DeCicco (@ant_decicco)