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Panthers Wrap-Up: Rangers 4, Panthers 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 1 0 0 1
RANGERS 3 1 0 0 4
FLA - M. Bradley (2)

NYR - C. Hagelin (7), B. Richards (13), M. Del Zotto (5), B. Dubinsky (4)
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Carl Hagelin had a goal and an assist, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots, and the New York Rangers earned a 4-1 victory against the Florida Panthers on Friday night.

Brad Richards, Michael Del Zotto, and Brandon Dubinsky also scored for the Rangers, who have won six of seven and will play the Philadelphia Flyers in the Winter Classic on Monday in Citizens Bank Park.

"Against a team like that, to go down four goals is almost impossible to come back and for whatever reason, there's absolutely no excuses for the way we started that game in our first period. It's embarassing to do that, especially with what happened last game against them. We really have to look at each other and at ourselves and figure out what went wrong tonight."

- Forward Matt Bradley.
1. Rangers Quick Start: It didn't take long for the Rangers to get their feet going and put their stamp on the game as they scored just 35 seconds into the contest. Carl Hagelin redirected Ryan Callahan's pass past starting netminder Scott Clemmensen before you could say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It got worse for the Panthers defense and Clemmensen as New York would score twice more in the first 15:37 of the game. Brad Richards netted his 13th of the season 5:10 in while Michael Del Zotto scored from the point with 4:23 left on the clock. That third goal chased Clemmensen as head coach Kevin Dineen replaced him with Jose Theodore. Clemmensen allowed the three goals on 14 Rangers shots before his night was done.

2. Unable To Solve King Henrik: Outworked in the first period, the Panthers regained control for the majority of the final two periods. Unfortunately Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist would have none of it as the turned aside all but one of the 28 shots. After Brandon Dubinsky scored to make it 7:41 on a backhander while driving to the net, Matt Bradley scored on a backhander 1:47 to ruin the shutout bid. Lundqvist stood tall as the Panthers held a lot of attack time in the Rangers zone the final two periods. Florida outshot New York 21-10 in the final two periods. They were able to keep a large lead due to a great opening period.

3. A Physical Affair All Night With Fireworks At The End: It was an extremely physical game Friday night between the two clubs as they brought their lumber from the get go. Florida and New York combined for 79 hits in the contest, with the Panthers actually owning a 43-36 advantage. The 43 hits for Florida were actually a season high for the club. Leading the way was Bradley who was all over the ice in picking up the lone goal and nine hits. His biggest of the game came with 6:20 left in the second period. Stickless, Bradley came back and labeled Rangers center Brandon Dubinsky in front of the Panthers net. With time winding down in the game, the fireworks really exploded between the two teams. With things already chippy, Michael Del Zotto and Tomas Kopecky were battling in front of the net. The two exchanged cross checks with Del Zotto getting a final one in before falling to the ice and his stick catching Kopecky in the helmet. The swipe knocked Kopecky's helment off. The Panthers winger did not like that and one-punched Del Zotto to the ground. The Rangers Mike Rupp took exception to the punch and jumped Kopecky and sending him to the ground. Kopecky received a match penalty while Rupp received a fighting major and a game misconduct. Krys Barch was also issued a misconduct and Del Zotto was given a two-minute high sticking penalty. Should make for an interesting match-up come January 5th in New York when the two teams meet for a fourth time this season.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@meadowsm: If not for Clemmenson's off night we had that game #WeSeeRed look towards a fresh start tomorrow #FlaPanthers vs more snowbirds #Habs

@Weinsteinlaw: Not much solace in the fact that #FlaPanthers outplayed #NYR in last 2 periods after Clemmensens awful start. Time to bring up @j_markstrom

@mschristymariee: God I love our coach! "@OnFrozenPond: #FlaPanthers Dineen: [Del Zotto] deserved to get smashed in the face; he got what he deserved."

@Chef_Ravioli: Wheels fell off the bus tonight. Hopefully the @FlaPanthers can bounce back tomorrow

@JakeDubin: Had alotta fun at the panther game even though we got wrecked :( #westillseered @FlaPanthers

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Darren Lambert: The cats beat the leafs the game before this one. It's hard to get the team together when so many players are hurt. They will rebound from this im sure!

Alan Eckley: Lundquist was on fire. Just one of those nights. The Cats look a bit tired. Beat the Habs.

Wendy Tomlinson: defense and offense must play better and show up tomorrow!!!! Goal tending needs support too but can't give up easy goals.........

Veronika Ferra Cassidy: Lets win big tomorrow guys!!!!!!!

Christian Dirmann: this is garbage! we need to step our game up, winnipeg is only 4 pts behind us!!!

2. Up 4-1 in the third, the Rangers hung back as the Panthers came at them. New York posted just two shots on net in the final period of play.

3. Recording the Panthers first goal of the game, Matt Bradley recorded his third career goal against the Rangers (31 games). More importantly for Bradley, it was his third point in the last four games (1-2-3).

10. The last two outings against the Rangers have not been pretty on the scoresheet for the Panthers. Florida has been outscored 10-2 over the last six periods, including a 6-1 loss on December 11th. Florida won the first meeting by a score of 2-1 back in November.

35. It took just 35 seconds for the Rangers to get on the board as C Hagelin scored his seventh of the season. It was the fastest goal allowed to start a game by the Panthers, supplanting Mark Streit's power play goal 1:01 into the game on October 22nd.

43. Florida had a season high 43 hits against the Rangers Friday night. Leading the way was Bradley (nine) and rookie defenseman Erik Gudbranson (six).
Henrik Lundqvist
Wasn't tested all that much in the first but with Florida looking to get back in the game, stood strong and turned aside 27 of 28 Panthers shots.

28 Shots, 27 Saves, .964 SV%
Florida looks to close out the 2011 portion of the season on a high note as they take on the Montreal Canadiens for the second home game in less than 24 hours. Montreal comes in having lost a tough one to Tampa Bay on Thursday. The Canadiens had a 3-2 lead heading into the final period in Tampa only to see the home team score twice in the final period for a 4-3 victory. Vincent Lecavalier's goal 8:37 in provided two points. It has been a tough season to date for Montreal. The team has already changed an assistant coach and a head coach and have a 14-17-7 record (35 points), least in the Northeast Division. The Canadiens are led by Tomas Plekanec (29 points in 38 games) and Erik Cole (15 goals in 38 games) up front and Carey Price between the pipes (.912 save percentage, 2.49 goals against average).

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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