The New York Rangers are unable to keep up with Panthers firepower in defeat in Sunrise

Dec 29, 2023; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) celebrates the
Dec 29, 2023; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) celebrates the / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

There's no shame in coming up short against the Florida Panthers, but a loss like this still stings. The New York Rangers are unable to keep up with the Cats despite the best efforts of netminder Jonathan Quick. They fall 4-3 to the Panthers and continue to endure a struggle right now, at least by the standards they have set for themselves this season. It was another game that goes by the wayside for the Rangers.

Florida would take the lead when former Ranger Niko Mikkola moved the puck up the boards to Aleksander Barkov. Barkov managed to get it through to Evan Rodrigues to nail the top corner shortside on Quick, and the Panthers took a 1-0 lead very early. The defending was not great on this play, but this is one Quick will want to have back as no goaltender enjoys being beat at their near post like that.

Into the second period, the Panthers would work another chance. Aleksander Barkov behind the net was able to find Sam Reinhart alone out in front, and the Panthers winger puts it home to double the lead of the Panthers. It was another difficult defensive display as the puck goes through the triangle between K'Andre Miller's skate and stick, and from that close in, Quick doesn't have any hope of getting across to stop the rifled shot that is coming.

New York would get it back through. A beautiful keep in at the blueline by Ryan Lindgren allows him to fire the puck over to Alexis Lafreniere in the far circle. He's all alone as the Panthers have started trying to fly the zone. Lafreniere dishes it over to Artemi Panarin, and the breadman does what he does best. His 20th goal of the season cuts the lead of the Panthers in half. it was game on in Sunrise, Florida.

Your Rangers would then tie it up at two. K'Andre Miller creates a turnover at the blueline and carries the puck up the ice. Miller gets it behind the forward playing defense who in this case is Nick Cousins, and is able to get the puck over to Will Cuylle. Cuylle finishes to tie the game at two, and Cousins drills his own netminder not being aware of his position on the ice. A new game, and the Rangers had momentum as well as a potentially shaky goalie banged up.

Florida would take its lead back before the second intermission on the powerplay. Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk started to play catch on the side boards, moving the Ranger penalty killers around. After creating an opening, Barkov lets it fly and Sam Reinhart tips it past Quick on a deflection that Chris Kreider himself would have been proud of, and the Panthers were back on top in this one.

In the third period, the Rangers would tie the game up short handed. Mika Zibanejad picked up a loose puck at his own blueline when the Panthers failed to enter the zone. He sent it wide to Kreider who carried it up the wing with speed. Kreider found the wheelhouse of Zibanejad, and Mika ripped it home with that vaunted one-timer to get it back. A great shot ended this play at tied it up once again.

But the Panthers would get the final goal of the game as the powerplay expired. Jacob Trouba couldn't get rid of the loose puck, and Carter Verhaeghe picked up the loose puck before firing it around the boards for Tkachuk. Tkachuk gave it back to the point for Gustav Forsling whose shot created chaos, allowing Verhaeghe to fire the rebound on net and beat Quick to ensure the two points.

After this, the Rangers would try to get it back, but they just couldn't. This was not a bad display from the Blueshirts as we have seen in the past losses, but it was still not enough for the win, which will be concerning as the organization heads across the state of Florida to Tampa Bay where the Lightning will be laying in wait for the Blueshirts arrival.