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Rangers 4, Panthers 3, SO @NHL

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Petr Prucha is a rookie until the shootout.

Prucha scored the only goal in the shootout Wednesday night to give the New York Rangers a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers. It was the second time in five nights Prucha scored the game-winner in a shootout, the Rangers' only winners this season in the tiebreaker format.

"I don't think about what I do," said Prucha, who gave the Rangers a 3-2 victory over New Jersey on Saturday. "It was the same thing as last time. I saw the goalkeeper in the net, so I shot the puck up. Lucky goal."

Prucha has three goals on 11 games this season.

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped all four shots by the Panthers in the shootout. Florida's Roberto Luongo stopped Martin Straka, Michael Nylander and Jaromir Jagr before Prucha scored with a wrist shot over his glove.

"I was a little nervous," Lundvist said of the shootout. "It's a big challenge facing skilled players. But it's fun when you win."

Dominic Moore of the Rangers tied the game 3-3 with three seconds left in the third period. Steve Rucchin and Straka also scored for the Rangers, who began a five-game road trip, their longest of the season.

"We kept working hard to the end," Rucchin said. "Obviously, we were pretty lucky to get a break and there's no question we definitely stole a couple of points."

Stephen Weiss, Olli Jokinen and Anthony Stewart scored for Florida, which was playing at home for the first time since Oct. 20. The Panthers had to postpone two home games because of Hurricane Wilma.

"We had a few more fans than usual and that was great," Stewart said, lamenting the Panthers didn't get the victory for them.

Florida, which had played its previous six games on the road, has lost six straight (0-3-3).

Lundqvist stopped 38 shots in regulation and overtime, while Luongo made 37 saves.

The Panthers appeared ready to take a 3-2 victory when Moore's backhanded pass from behind the net went in off defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.

"It feels like we're fortunate to come away with two points," Moore said. "The thing is if you hang with it, sometimes you get the bounce. The effort was there."

Jokinen had given Florida a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal at 13:56 of the second period when he beat Lundqvist with a wrist shot from the side.

The Panthers came close to adding to their lead in the third period when both Weiss and Jokinen hit the post on power plays.

"There's not much I can say now," Jokinen said. "We lose six in a row and have a division leader (Carolina) on Friday. It's going to be a big test for us. If you look at the standings we have to start catching teams now. Before, teams were catching us, now they went by us. We have to find a way to win."

Weiss had given the Panthers a 2-1 lead 41 seconds into the second period when he took advantage of a defensive breakdown to skate untouched past the blue line and beat Lundqvist with a wrist shot.

Straka tied the game 50 seconds later when he grabbed a loose puck at the faceoff circle and beat Luongo with a wrist shot.

Rucchin opened the scoring at 4:56 of the opening period when he beat Luongo from the just outside the crease after he had stopped Straka's wrist shot from the point.

Stewart tied the game at 1 when he intercepted Rucchin's clearing attempt and fired a shot over a sprawling Lundqvist.

"It would be nice to answer questions about a win, but that's the way it is," Weiss said. "They got one before we did in the shootout, that's life. We can't hang our heads and feel sorry for ourselves. It's a little tough to deal with. You play hard for 60 minutes and then give up a goal with three seconds left. It's demoralizing."

Notes: This was Florida's first shootout of the season and the Rangers improved to 2-1 in them. ... Florida D Branislav Mezei left the game in the first period with a knee injury after being checked into the boards by Ryan Hollweg. Mezei will be re-evaluated Thursday morning. ... Florida played without RW Nathan Horton, who was placed on injured reserve Tuesday because of a knee injury and will miss at least three games. ... Rucchin's goal came on the Rangers first power play of the game. They were 0-for-7 with a man advantage in their 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday.

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