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.
You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.
— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense