New York Rangers Hang On For 2-1 Victory


In a game of firsts for two of their teammates, the Rangers held on to defeat a hungry Panthers team.

Final. 1. 97. 2. 95

Riding a four-game winning streak, the New York Rangers played host to the Florida Panthers. On a night that celebrated Dan Boyle‘s 1000th game in the NHL last week, the team looked to dispatch his former team and continue their winning ways. Here’s how the game played out:

First Period

After receiving the first power play of the game, the Rangers were unable to convert with the man-advantage. However, the Panthers had been feeling the pressure of the Rangers defense. They did not register their first shot on goal till almost 10 minutes had passed in the period. New Ranger James Sheppard scored his first goal in a blue jersey after tipping-in a shot on goal. Immediate assists were credited to Jesper Fast (7) and Matt Hunwick (9), who was subbing for the injured Kevin Klein. Near the end of the period, the Rangers experienced some sloppy play in their own end. After a turnover, Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot had his first scare of the game. After a sliding block from Ryan McDonagh, Talbot was found out of place and a wide-open net was seen by the Panthers offense. However, Dan Girardi was there to disrupt a sure-fire goal. The puck was still loose, but Talbot was able to jump on top and stop play.

Second Period

Unlike the first period, shots on goals and scoring opportunities were present and had to be accounted for by both goalies playing tonight, in the first four minutes. The Panthers made Talbot work as they had were able to have a couple of odd-man rushes, led by former Ranger Jaromir Jagr. They were able to keep the puck in the offensive zone and forced Talbot to make several saves. This may have been the first time, in several games, that Talbot had been seen out of position and forced to make desperate saves. One of those saves came at the 6:00 minute mark of the period. A pass was put out in front for Panthers Willie Mitchell. As he crossed in front of Talbot, he put a wrist shot on goal and then tried to rebound the puck off Talbot’s left skate. After review, it was called no goal. The combined play of Jagr, Andre Barkov, and Nick Bjugstad were a menace for the Rangers and kept Talbot busy. As the period came to an end, the Panthers outshot the Rangers 20 to 12.

Third Period

To start the third, the Panthers had a :39 seconds left on a power play carried over from the second, from a late-period interference penalty called on Marc Staal. Despite the Panthers’ ability to keep the puck in the Rangers’ end, they were unable to score. However, the pace of play was dominated by the Panthers, in the first seven minutes of the period. With 11:23 left in the period, the Rangers added to their lead. Hunwick put a slap shot on goal from the blue line, which was deflected in front. A wobbly puck found the back of the net giving Hunwick the first as a Ranger. Fast, standing in front, screened Panthers goalie Dan Ellis to help the defenseman’s goal. The immediate assist was credited to Dominic Moore (15). The Panthers answered back with seconds past the half-way point of the period. Off the face-off, Bradon Pirri put a wrist shot past Talbot for his 15th of the season.

Another injured Ranger was seen skating to the locker room. Marin St. Louis was seen tangled up behind the Panthers’ net. His right leg was caught under a falling Panther, and possibly could have been over-extended.

Despite a late power-play for the Panthers, the Rangers held on for the 2-1 win and extended their point lead over the Islanders to five points, giving them 95 total points in the Metropolitan Division.

NHL’s Three Stars of the Game

First StarCam Talbot: 39 of 40 saves, .974 save percentage
Second StarMatt Hunwick: one goal (first as a Ranger), one assist, +2, two shots on goal
Third StarJames Sheppard: one goal (first as a Ranger), +1, two shots on goal, three hits

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