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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 3, Rangers 2

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 1 2 0 3
Rangers 0 0 2 0 2
FLA - T. Fleischmann (10), PP - M. Goc (8), SH-EN - D. Shore (3)
NYR - T. Pyatt (6), D. Brassard (11)

SUNRISE, Fla —  (AP) - Marcel Goc and Drew Shore scored third-period goals, and the Florida Panthers prevented the New York Rangers from clinching an Eastern Conference playoff berth with a 3-2 victory on Tuesday night.

Goc broke a tie, and Drew Shore added a short-handed, empty-net goal to give Florida a 3-1 lead before the Rangers got back within a goal.

"We had a tough road trip and we had a meeting yesterday talking about how we can just lay down and not do anything about it or we can go out and work as hard as we can and try to win some hockey games at the end of the year. I think the guys did a great job tonight. We worked really hard and skated for the full 60 minutes."

- Panthers goaltender Jacob Markstrom.
1. On The Board: Other than a fight 3:15 into the game between Panthers enforcer George Parros and the Rangers Aaron Asham, the first period went by without much incident as the Rangers held a 9-2 shot advantage but both teams couldn't find the scoreboard. In the second period, Florida used their third shot of the game to take the lead 5:04 in as Tomas Fleischmann tipped Filip Kuba's point shot past Henrik Lundqvist. The play was set up by the shifty moves of rookie Jonathan Huberdeau who despite all of his moves to get the puck from the Panthers zone to the Rangers zone failed to pick up a point as he passed back to Mike Weaver who then sent the puck cross the blue line to Kuba. Talk about taking advantage of your shots when you take them. 

2. Special Teams Wins: The Rangers and Panthers played a relatively clean game with Florida being called for three minors and New York being whistled for two of their own. The Panthers however were the better team, scoring on one of their opportunities and on one of the Rangers as well. The visitors got on the board on a fluke goal as Taylor Pyatt's inital shot was stopped by Jacob Markstrom but the rebound hit a crashing Panther and carried into the net to tie the game at one with 2:35 gone in the second period. Florida regained the lead five minutes later and used the power play to their advantage with Brad Richards in the box for tripping. Fleischmann set up Marcel Goc who was stationed in the slot who in turn shoveled the puck past Lundqvist with 12:23 left on the clock. Huberdeau was whistled for a late penalty with 3:12 remaining but the Panthers and fellow rookie Drew Shore iced the game with an empty netter from his own zone with 1:23 left for a 3-1 advantage.

3. The Prince And The King Part II: The Rangers made it interesting getting a goal from Derick Brassard with 33 seconds remaining to make it 3-2 but it was just too much Markstrom for them as he picked up his seventh victory of the season. While he won't admit it, the young Swede was asked about beating a fellow Swede and goaltending rock star Lundqvist. For him it was "Beating anyone is good. I don’t have that many wins so hopefully we can get a couple more before the end." Markstrom and Ludqvist had a good goaltending duel going on with the Panthers netminder busier in his own zone in making 36 saves. Lundqvist only saw 16 shots on his end of the ice but for the second time of the season, Markstrom earned the victory against his fellow countryman.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@carolineemd: @FlaPanthers made my night tonight. Today turned out perfect thanks to them.

@smileythejustin: Jeremy Roenick just called Jacob Markstrom's win tonight a super star performance! Now that's what I'm talking about @FlaPanthers @NBCSports

@JakeDubin: That @FlaPanthers win was definitely the sweetest of the season and I'm glad I was a part of it #NextYear

@Ad1zzl3: Glad to see a win tonight for the @FlaPanthers. We may not make the playoffs but at least we are still fighting.

@darketernaldays: After a million & 1 heart attacks at tonights game my @FlaPanthers win, lets finish big against the leafs Thursday #7thman


Memorable fan posts from the game.

Thomas D'Ambrosio: Nice win. Shows we truly do have the potential and that we really were held back by the countless injuries this year. Hoping to see our key players back next year and have a few additional key players added! Next year we will redeem ourselves for this horrid season. And best of all, WE PREVENTED THE RANGERS FROM CLINCHING!

Joe Fiore: Great to see that this team still has life. Good job Markstrom.

Gina Pengue: Outstanding team work!!! Good job boys!!!!!

William Morales-Gonzalez: Preview of next season Lets go panthers!

Jeremy Horowitz: This was sick! Go markstrom great game

1. Scoring from his own end to put the Panthers up 3-1, Drew Shore what turned out to be his first NHL game-winner when he scored with less than a minute-and-a-half to play in the contest.

In one of those weird stats, the Panthers and Rangers had a common penalty theme night. They combined for five minors on the evening, four came off tripping calls.

Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann is having a great end of the season. Posting a goal and an assist against the Rangers, he now has 13 points (4-9-13) in 13 games and now leads the team with 32.

21:28. Rookie defenseman Alex Petrovic has continued to impress since being called up four games ago. The 21-year old who made his NHL debut against the Rangers last week, was paired with TOI monster Brian Campbell and played a career-high 21:28. That time was only bested by Campbell's 27:10 for the Panthers. Petrovic finished with four hits and was a plus-1.

 Netminder Jacob Markstrom has been impressive against the Rangers this season, stopping 80 of the 83 shots he's seen in two victories against them this season, good enough for a .964 SV%.

Jacob Markstrom
The first goal allowed was a fluke and the second came in the dying seconds with the Rangers pressing. Was all over the ice making top notch saves all night.

38 Shots, 36 Saves, .947 SV%
The Panthers close out their home portion of the 2013 schedule as they host the playoff bound Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs return to the playoffs for the first time since the 2003-04 season. Toronto which is in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff picture plays Wednesday night in Tampa Bay prior to their meeting against the Panthers. After sweeping the Leafs last season, the Panthers will hope Toronto doesn't return the favor this one as Toronto has one the first two meetings, 3-0 on Feb. 18 in Sunrise and 3-2 on March 26 in Toronto. The blue and white are led by forward Phil Kessel (48 points in 45 games), Nazem Kadri (42 points in 45 games) and James Van Riemsdyk (32 points in 45 games) while James Reimer holds a 2.41 goals against average and .926 save percentage with an 18-6-5 record between the pipes.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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