The win leaves the Rangers with 82 points, tied with the phree-phalling Philadelphia Flyers for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, with the Flyers currently owning the tie-breaker on wins. Boston remains two points ahead of the Rangers in seventh place with their win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Another quiet first period for the Rangers, only five shots on goal. The only real excitement of the period was when Aaron Voros squared off with Nick Tarnaski, with Voros catching the worst of it, as is often the case. I've been hard on Voros, but he does give his all every night, and even Torts was complimentary of him the other day. That being said, I am going to ask Aaron to write "Visit BlueshirtBanter.com" on the bottoms of his skates, I think it would be great advertising for the site.
Rangers came out stronger in the second period, but quickly fell back into their first period lethargy. Four minutes into the period, Michal Rozsival was on the ice for what can only be termed as one of the worst shifts ever taken by an NHL defenseman. Rozsival turned the puck over twice, and then took a penalty that led to a Keith Ballard goal that put the Panthers ahead 1-0.
The Rangers were able to get ten shots in the second, after only mustering five in the first. However, very few of those ten shots were of any quality, the Panthers were swarming the Rangers whenever they had the puck.
In the third, Marc Staal continued his scoring streak, picking up a goal in his third straight game, and tying it up for the Rangers. For Staal it was his eighth of the year, and a rare assist for Henrik Lundqvist on the tally.
That was the Rangers wakeup call. First It was Brandon Prust scooping the puck over Panthers goalkeeper Scott Clemmensen to put the Rangers ahead, and just ninety seconds later, Chris Drury picked up his thirteenth of the year to put the Rangers ahead 3-1, and send what few Panther fans had actually shown up for this game to South Beach for the evening.
Marian Gaborik added an empty netter for his 41st of the season.
For the Rangers, it was their first win of the season after trailing for two periods, and it could not have come at a better time.