Richards beat Tim Thomas with a wrist shot to the top left corner after Thomas stopped the first two New York attempts in the tiebreaker. Henrik Lundqvist made a save against Brad Boyes to seal the Rangers' victory.
New York defenceman Dan Girardi scored with 2:10 left in regulation to send the game to overtime. Boyes had given the Panthers a 1-0 lead with a second-period goal after a Rangers turnover.
Thomas made 29 saves through overtime, and Lundqvist stopped 21, including one in the closing seconds of overtime on Tomas Fleischmann. It was the third and final meeting between the teams this season.
It's a little different but it feels amazing. A new chapter in my life and I'm excited. It's been amazing. Better than I expected. The weather is great, the place is just amazing. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm glad to get the season going.
— Ryan Kesler on his transition to the Anaheim Ducks