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Rangers 5, Florida Panthers 2

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
One of the deepest Rangers teams in history got its 2007-08 season off to a strong start on Thursday night, exploding for four goals in the third-period to rout the Florida Panthers 5-2 in front of a jubilant crowd at The Garden. Chris Drury led the way with a goal and two assists, as the Blueshirts got goals from Drury, Michal Rozsival, Petr Prucha, Ryan Callahan and Martin Straka.



1. C. DRURY -- NYR
2. J. JAGR -- NYR
3. M. MALIK -- NYR


* Chris Drury recorded the game-winning goal and added two assists to earn First Star honors in his Rangers/MSG debut. He finished with four shots on goal in 22:24 of total icetime, both team-highs … Also won 14 of 21 faceoffs (67%).

* Jaromir Jagr tallied two assists and posted a plus-three rating in 19:34 of total icetime. With his two assists, tied Ray Bourque for first all-time in most career points in season openers (nine goals and 21 assists for 30 points).

* Marek Malik registered three assists and finished with a plus-three rating (Third Star). His three assists tied his career-high for most assists/points in a game (last – April 4, 2001 at NY Rangers).

* Henrik Lundqvist picked up the win, stopping 27 of 29 shots (.931 save percentage).

* Michal Rozsival notched the Rangers’ first goal of the season on the Rangers’ first shot, at 0:37 of the first period, and posted a game-high, plus-four rating. He appeared in his 400th career NHL game.

* Sean Avery dished out a game-high, 10 hits and logged 18:40 of total icetime.

* Scott Gomez logged 18:13 of total icetime in his Rangers debut and won 11 of 17 faceoffs (65%).

* Ryan Callahan notched a goal 12 seconds after Drury’s game-winner at 8:58 of the third period, and delivered three hits.

* Martin Straka recorded his first goal of the season and finished with a plus-three rating in 20:45 of total icetime.

* Petr Prucha tallied a third period goal at 6:07 of the final frame.

* The Rangers scored their first goal of the season, on their first shot, at 0:37 seconds of the first period. That marked the second consecutive season the Blueshirts scored on their first shot of the season (J. Jagr at 0:29 seconds of the first period on Oct. 5, 2006 vs. Washington).

* The Rangers have sold out 76 consecutive regular season games since Oct. 31, 2005.
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