Aleksander Barkov nets nifty shootout winner as Panthers top Rangers
NEW YORK (AP) — The Florida Panthers rallied twice in regulation, and then Vincent Trochek and Aleksander Barkov sent them home with a rare win at Madison Square Garden.
Trochek and Barkov scored in the shootout, lifting Florida over the New York Rangers 3-2 on Sunday night.
The Panthers trailed twice but came back behind goals from Keith Yandle and Aaron Ekblad. The win gives Florida a 3-1 record on this four-game trip, and the Panthers also got their first victory at MSG since April 18, 2013.
"We’re a pretty happy team with the wins we are stringing together," Ekblad said. "We look to play tight games and limit chances."
James Reimer played a big hand in the win, making 33 saves and stopping two more shots during the shootout. Reimer is 3-3-1 on the season
"He had a great bounce back game for him," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "I’m real happy for him. The team worked hard … but he had a huge effort tonight. That gave us the two points."
It gets worse for New York. Mika Zibanejad left during overtime after falling hard into the end boards, and the team said he has a broken fibula that will keep him out 6 to 8 weeks.
Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves in his 700th start for the Rangers. He is only the fifth goaltender in NHL history to play 700 games with one franchise.
New York’s Chris Kreider opened the scoring with 6:45 left in the first period on his fourth goal of the season. Derek Stepan skated through the neutral zone untouched and into the Panthers zone. He dished the puck off to Kreider, and he buried a shot from atop the faceoff circle for his 10th point in 13 games.
Yandle tied it in the second period with a shot from the point while the Panthers were on the power play. Yandle’s goal came in the defenseman’s first trip back to New York since having his rights traded by the Rangers on June 20.
The 30-year-old defenseman signed a seven-year, $44.45 million contract three days after the trade. Yandle spent two years with the Rangers.
"It’s special for sure," Yandle said. "Such a fun building to play in."
The Rangers briefly retook the lead early in the third when Mats Zuccarello bounced a shot off Zibanejad’s body at 1:45. The goal was Zibanejad’s fifth of the season, but the Panthers eliminated the deficit when Ekblad scored his fifth of the season with 7:54 left.
Sunday was the first time the Rangers lost back-to-back games this season, but they remain two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the Eastern conference. They play a home-and-home with Pittsburgh this week.
"They had a couple opportunities in tight where Hank (Lundqvist) had to make some big saves," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "But that’s the type of game right now that seems to be played throughout the league, tight. We were pretty even on both sides and lost in the shootout."
NOTES: Prior to the game, Rangers broadcaster Sam Rosen was honored for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Rosen was joined on the ice by members of his family and broadcast partner Joe Micheletti, and former partner John Davidson. … The Rangers scratched D Adam Clendening and C Oscar Lindberg. … Zibanejad appeared in his 300th game and is three assists away from 100 for his career. … The Panthers scratched C Seth Griffith, C Jared McCain and D Dylan McIlrath, who was making his first visit to New York since be traded by the Rangers on Nov. 8.
Rangers: Travel to Pittsburgh on Monday night to play the first game of a home-and-home.
Panthers: Return to BB&T Center to host Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
- Aaron Ekblad
- Aleksander Barkov
- Florida Panthers
- FOX Sports Florida
- FOX Sports Florida - Panthers
- James Reimer
- Keith Yandle
- Vincent Trocheck