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Panthers Wrap-Up: Rangers 5, Panthers 2

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 0 2 0 2
Rangers 1 1 3 0 5
FLA - S. Upshall (5), N. Bjugstad (3)
NYR - PPG - D. Brassard (5), B. Richards (7), R. Nash (3),  PPG - M. Zuccarello (3), EN - C. Hagelin (5)

SUNRISE, FLA —  ( - The New York Rangers recorded another victory on the road Wednesday night, but they had to survive a late Florida Panthers rally.

Derick Brassard, Brad Richards and Rick Nash scored to give the Rangers a 3-0 third-period lead, and New York hung on for a 5-2 victory Wednesday night at BB&T Center.

"We have to find ways to score against goaltenders like that. We need second chances, more traffic. We didn't capitalize when we had to."

- Panthers interim head coach Peter Horachek.
1. A Flurry Of Nothing: The Panthers came out strong in the opening five minutes of play as they outshot the Rangers 6-1 at one point. In one minute of play, the Panthers piled up five shots and had another two blocked but couldn't get one of them past Henrik Lundqvist. The shots started at 3:24 as Scottie Upshall put two straight on Lundqvist. Aleksander Barkov had another on a rebound chance and Brad Boyes was foiled on another. Tom Gilbert and Brian Campbell's shots were blocked and then Tomas Fleischmann finished off the shots at the 4:22 mark after Nick Bjugstad forced a turnover. It was their best chance to get one by Lundqvist. 

2. Rangers Up: A little over a minute after the flourish, Bjugstad actually had the best opportunity as Jonathan Huberdeau drew a penalty on a high-sticking penalty by J Falk and with Lundqvist out of position, the puck found Bjugstad who fired it wide of the open net. The Rangers killed off the penalty and then scored on their own power play as Derick Brassard scored on the deflection with 12:13 gone. New York made it a two goal game late in the second period as Brad Richards' low shot off the turnover fooled Tim Thomas with 1:07 to play. Rick Nash upped the Rangers lead to 3-0 on another turnover, this time with 5:32 gone in the third period

3. Within One But Outdone: The clocked ticked down in the third period and it looked like Florida wouldn't be able to get one by Lundqvist but two turnovers brought them to within one as Scottie Upshall and Nick Bjugstad scored within four minutes of each other. Upshall scored off the feed from Brad Boyes with 7:32 to play and Bjugstad made a nice move to the net, tucking the puck past Lundqvist with 3:43 remaining but that was as close as they could get. A hooking call to Barkov with 2:39 all but ended the Panthers comeback attempt as Mats Zuccarello scored on the power play with 1:28 remaining and Carl Hagelin added an empty net goal. Just too many mistakes to come back from for the Panthers in their second game of the home stand.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@Vickey_G:even though my @FlaPanthers loss, hockey is still the most fun event in all of South Florida! I LOVE THE @NHL #hockey

@JacobRotenberg: @FlaPanthers @thebbtcenter we had it but we just couldn't play defense

@RyanLWatson: @FlaPanthers need to fix their defence,can't allow so many goals against,need to find a way to keep those pucks out.Not your fault Thomas

@darketernaldays: nice come back @FlaPanthers but we'll get back on it on saturday #stillRedHOT #enjoythanksgiving

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Gal Oron: I see really good positive changes. Still a lot to work on (obviously) but I enjoy watching the hustle and the energy is way up than before. Young guys will get more confidence and comfortable and results will soon follow! As long as we stay competitive I'm happy. Let's go Panthers and happy thanksgiving to all of you!

Laurie Frassinell Clark: Scottie's really Upping his game this year

Dave Friedlander: Great game other than the scoreboard. We dominated the game other than PP. You can see the difference with a good PP unit.

2. Defenseman Erik Gudbranson had a decent night on the blueline as he finished the only plus-player on the Panthers. In fact, Gudbranson was on for both Panthers goals as he finished plus-2. The blueliner was one of three Panthers to finish with more than 20 minutes of ice time.

3. Not a lot of assists on the night despite seven combined goals. Three of the goals (Brad Richards, Rick Nash and Nick Bjugstad) came the unassisted route.

12. Florida held the shot advantage in the game, outshooting New York 33-22 but came up short. The Panthers recorded 12 shots in both the second and third periods.

61. The Panthers had a good night in the face-off circle winning 61 percent of the draws (37-of-61) Leading the way was Scott Gomez (6-of-8, 75%), Marcel Goc (7-of-10, 70%) and Aleksander Barkov (10-of-16, 63%).

67. It was a tough night for the Panthers penalty kill units as the Rangers scored two of their five goals on the man advantage. Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello scored on three of New York's opportunities.

Sean Bergenheim
Not named a star on the night, Zuccarello was the main reason for the Rangers first goal with Brassard deflecting his shot and put the game out of reach with a late third period power goal to make it 4-2.

1 Goal, 1 Assist, 2 Points, -1, 2 Shots, 16:13 TOI
It will be two days off as the Panthers enjoy Thanksgiving and Black Friday off before finishing out their Thanksgiving week on Saturday when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins. It's the second time the teams meet at the BB&T Center. Florida downed Pittsburgh in their home opener 6-3. Tomas Fleischmann (1-3-4), Brad Boyes (2-1-3) and Aleksander Barkov (1-2-3) led the way in the victory. Pittsburgh, who plays Friday night in Tampa Bay before moving on to South Florida, is currently tied with the Lightning for second in the East with 33 points (16-9-1). They're led offensively by captain Sidney Crosby (33 points in 26 games) and fellow superstar Evgeni Malkin (30 points in 26 games). Marc-Andre Fleury has posted a 13-7-1 record with 2.16 GAA and .915 save percentage.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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