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Panthers Wrap-Up: Rangers 6, Panthers 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 0 0 0 1
RANGERS 2 4 0 0 6
FLA - E. Gudbranson (1)

NYR - PPG - B. Richards (11), PPG - A. Anisimov (6), D. Stepan (6), S. Eminger (2), M. Gaborik (15), D. Stepan (7)
NEW YORK (AP) - Derek Stepan scored twice, including a pretty coast-to-coast goal just after the Rangers killed a penalty, and New York beat the Florida Panthers 6-1 on Sunday night.

Stepan also assisted on Marian Gaborik's goal late in the second period that made it 5-1 and seemed to take what spring remained out of the Panthers.

"Even the first period, obviously our special teams weren't very good and I think any time you get a tail kicking like that, you always say things like the will to compete. That's what you always kind of hear from coaches. Certainly their want was higher than ours...That's an old fashion tail kicking for sure."

- Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen
1. Penalties Burn The Cats: Up until Sunday night's nights game, Florida had taken some penalties. They had given their opponents 11 power plays in the last three games and yet they killed off every single one of them. They played with fire too much and it burned them in the first period. Florida was whistled for three penalties in the opening 20 minutes. They were able to kill off the first penalty (a goaltender interference call) but their second and third penalties (too many men and tripping) ended with New York finding the back of the net. Off-season signee Brad Richards got the goal scoring parade started as he outwaited Jose Theodore and then went under Theodore's arm and top shelf 11:40 into the game. It was then a tap in goal by Artem Anisimov as he put away the rebound from the doorstep with 2:33 left on the clock.

2. Rangers Pull Away In The Second: Trailing by a goal after 20 minutes thanks to Erik Gudbranson's first NHL goal to end the period, Florida was there and could have tied it. Florida had two power plays in the middle period. On their first power play, it was Derek Stepan doing the damage as he took the puck end-to-end and scored a goal one second after the New York penalty ended. Up 3-1, New York put the game away with three goals in a seven minute span. Steve Eminger scored on a blast at 10:43 while Marian Gaborik followed up on a rebound with 3:07 left on the clock. Then Stepan made it a five-goal lead 55 seconds later.

3. Just One Of Those Games: It's not often to see the Panthers thoroughly get outplayed (at least it hasn't been this season) and with a day off and the Rangers playing a second game in two nights, one would have suspected that it would have been a much closer game. Unfortunately it just happened to be one of those games where nothing went right. It started off early as Marco Sturm blasted a shot on Henrik Lundqvist on the rush. The puck went wide by a few inches. That's how the night would be for the Panthers. Florida could not get the bounces to go their way as rebounds were just out of the reach of their sticks. New York on the other hand were in the perfect place on several occasions. While they were the reason for being in the right place at the right time, one would have hoped for a better outcome. Luckily it's just one game on the season and a 6-1 loss counts the same as a 2-1 or 3-2 loss. Just have to get back on the winning track on Tuesday.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@CochinoChuy: Bring our #FlaPanthers back home, they need to sleep in their own beds for a night.

@grueknowwho: When it's not your night, it's not your night #FlaPanthers #WeStillSeeRed

@JuliaaLeon: That was the worst #FlaPanthers game of the season.

@Weinsteinlaw: Tough game. Looking forward to 12/30. #FlaPanthers

@erbacaaa: No worries guys :) just be glad the #FlaPanthers hellish road trip is over and they're coming back home to S FL #WeSeeRed #VivaLaRedvolution

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Kriss N John: I just can't believe it!!!

Jose Ramirez: Wow what a stinker! Just need to rebound of this and have a good week at home.

Jonatan Olivas: I think we need better lines. We can win face-offs and get some PP but can't create good offense. Our D has been solid with a few slip ups. And theo can't stop everything. We need at least one more line to create offense.

Brandon Dolan: Quite the poor performance. They just seemed so out of synch. Hopefully the four game homestand will get them back up to speed.


1. Trailing by two in the first, defenseman Erik Gudbranson got the Panthers back in it with a blast from the point. It was the rookie's first goal of the season (second point), coming in his 24th NHL game.

4. The Rangers netted four goals in the second period. It was the most goals allowed by the Panthers this season in a single season. The previous high of three was given up on two different cases. The last time came November 26 at Tampa Bay (second period).

4. Florida finished with 21 shots on goal. Leading the way was a guy not known for his offense (at least compared to others), as Matt Bradley had a team-high four shots on net. Bradley, who had missed 10 games with an upper body injury, had 9:46 of ice time in his first game back.

The Rangers gave the Panthers their opportunities to get into the game, as Florida had seven power play opportunities. New York killed off every single one of them however. The seven opportunities tied for second most chances in a game (November 13 vs Philadelphia, also 0-7 on night). The most opportunities was nine when Florida scored five power play goals against Tampa Bay on October 17.

Center Stephen Weiss entered the game with a 54.4% win percentage in the face-off circle. That percentage certainly wasn't hindered as he went an astonishing 13 of 16 (81.3%) against New York.
Derek Stepan
Center Derek Stepan was buzzing the entire night for the Rangers. He really put the game away, giving New York a 3-1 lead with essentially a shorthanded goal and added another goal and an assist.

2 Goals, 1 Assist, 4 Shots, +3
After playing seven of their last eight games away from the friendly confines of the BankAtlantic Center, Florida will gladly return home for four straight games in Sunrise. The first game back is a rematch against the New Jersey Devils. In their last meeting on November 23, New Jersey held a three-goal lead after one period of play. Florida answered with two goals in each of the following two periods to net the 4-3 victory, tying a franchise record for largest comeback victory. The Cats were led by their first line as Kris Versteeg netted the first two goals, Stephen Weiss tied it with a shorthanded goal midway through the third and Tomas Fleischmann won it with just more than two minutes to play.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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