The New York Rangers closed out their Florida road trip this evening and came up winless after being defeated 4-3 by the Florida Panthers. Kaapo Kakko was designated as a game-time decision again tonight but failed to dress for his second straight game due to an illness. Henrik Lundqvist got the nod in goal after making a brief appearance against the Tampa Bay Lightning and turned away 26 of the 30 shots he faced this evening.
Mike Hoffman (8) PPG - Keith Yandle (14) & Jonathan Huberdeau (16) - 2:05 1st Period
Coming off of a 9-3 blowout on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Rangers didn’t do themselves any favors early in this game. An ill-advised hooking penalty by Pavel Buchnevich gave the Panthers an early power play opportunity and they immediately capitalized with the man-advantage. Mike Hoffman picked up his eighth goal of the season after absolutely wiring a slap shot over Henrik Lundqvist’s shoulder and gave Florida the 1-0 lead.
Ryan Strome (6) - Jesper Fast (6) & Ryan Lindgren (3) - 2:39 1st Period
Thankfully, the Rangers were able to respond a little over 30 seconds later as Ryan Strome deflected home his sixth goal of the season. Ryan Lindgren started the play with a great outlet pass to Jesper Fast and Fast found Strome on the far side of the ice with a ridiculous saucer pass. Sergei Bobrovsky was unable to full slide to his left in time, and Strome just barely slipped the puck over the goal line.
Evgenii Dadonov (9) PPG - Jonathan Huberdeau (17) & Keith Yandle (15) - 6:50 1st Period
Another undisciplined penalty wound up costing the Rangers and this time around it was Micheal Haley taking a seat for slashing Vincent Trochek. Florida absolutely ripped apart the Rangers’ penalty kill unit on the ensuing power play and Evgenii Dadonov opened up in the high slot for a wide open shot.
Artemi Panarin (9) - Ryan Strome (12) & Libor Hajek (4) - 8:47 1st Period
Despite giving up their second power play goal of the evening, the Rangers fought back yet again as Artemi Panarin tied the game back up at the 8:47 mark. Panarin’s seemingly harmless shot wound up fooling Sergei Bobrovsky enough through a partial screen in the crease and beat the goaltender inside the right post.
Tony DeAngelo (6) - Artemi Panarin (14) & Greg McKegg (1) - 5:47 2nd Period
After an eventful first period for the Rangers, New York finally took their first lead of the game early in the second period courtesy of Tony DeAngelo. Artemi Panarin’s incredible play making ability was put on full display yet again as he sent a misdirection pass to Tony DeAngelo to open up the shooting lane. DeAngelo was able to collect the puck in stride and flipped the puck over Bobrovsky to make it 3-2 Rangers.
Brett Connolly (7) - Brian Boyle (4) - 7:51 2nd Period
New York’s lead would only last a little over two minutes before the Panthers eventually tied the game on Brett Connolly’s seventh of the season. Henrik Lundqvist is definitely going to want this goal back after a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle somehow eluded Lundqvist and tied the game for Florida.
Evgenii Dadonov (10) - Keith Yandle (16) & Jonathan Huberdeau (18) - 17:44 2nd Period
Following an extended shift in the defensive zone, a blown assignment off to the right of Henrik Lundqvist wound up being the difference maker in this game. Evgenii Dadonov picked up his second goal of the game after wiring home a great cross-ice feed from Keith Yandle. Henrik Lundqvist picked up the pass too late and was unable to kick over to his right far enough to make the save.
The Rangers made a late push in the third period with the goaltender pulled but were unable to locate the tying goal. Artemi Panarin had two great chances in the left faceoff dot but a diving save by Sergei Bobrovsky kept the Panthers on top. Following tonight’s rough loss in Sunrise, the Rangers will head back home for a meeting with the Washington Capitals on Wedneday night.