Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Rangers Blitz Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played the second game of a three-game homestand and lost to the New York Rangers 5-2 at BB&T Center on Tuesday night. The Panthers lost their third straight game while the Rangers increased their road winning streak to five games.
     New York(43-22-2) moved out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period at 9:25. Mats Zuccarello had the puck in the right corner and passed it on top to former Panther Steven Kampfer. He fired a slapshot from the right point which was redirected in by Chris Kreider in the right circle. It was the 25th goal of the campaign for Kreider.
     The Blueshirts extended their margin to 2-0 with 7:00 left in the frame. J.T. Miller skated around the Panthers net and connected a pass to Oscar Lindberg in the top left circle. His backhand shot was stopped by James Reimer, but Tanner Glass burned his former team as he got his first tally of the year.
     In the second period, the Rangers continued their momentum at the 4:06 mark. Brady Skjei sent a lead pass from his own zone to Kevin Hayes at the Panthers blue line. He skated in on a breakaway and put in a backhand shot.
     Florida(29-25-11) got on the scoreboard when Thomas Vanek scored his first goal with his new team at 11:20 of the second. Vincent Trocheck centered the puck from the low left circle which went off Reilly Smith and Vanek scored on a wrist shot from the slot area.  
     The Rangers regained a three-goal lead with 6:46 remaining in the period. Lindberg stopped at the right-wing wall and dropped the puck to Nick Holden. He skated from the right point and blasted a slapshot through a Glass screen in the crease. Reto Berra replaced Reimer following the goal for his first appearance with the Panthers this season.
     The Panthers were able to score on the power play at 16:34 of the third period to make it 4-2. Trocheck was on the left point and placed a pass ahead to Aaron Ekblad on the left wing. He skated through the left circle and snapped a shot by Henrik Lundqvist.
     New York scored an empty-net goal with 1:45 to go and put the game away. Rick Nash found an open Pavel Buchnevich at center ice and he shot the puck from the blue line.
      Lundqvist passed Grant Fuhr for 10th place all-time with 404 career wins. He also went by Martin Brodeur for most wins by a goaltender in his first 12 seasons.

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