After struggling to generate offense against Boston, the Rangers managed to hang six on the Panthers en route to a 6-2 victory.
The Blueshirts started the game with a bang. Adam Fox scored his tenth of the year on a partial breakaway that started with Ryan Lindgren breaking up a Florida zone entry. A few quick passes later, Fox found himself alone in front and practically faked Alex Lyon out of the crease before depositing a backhand into the back of the net. Moments later, Jimmy Vesey nearly added to the lead, but hit the post. So it goes.
Adam Fox opens the scoring for between the Rangers and Panthers. Just adding to what's already an elite season on both ends of the ice. pic.twitter.com/S79GuUcr5X— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) January 24, 2023
The Rangers committed the dreaded too many men minor, setting up Carter Verhaeghe to knot the game at one. It was yet another powerplay goal conceded by the Rangers on the rush, which feels like it’s been happening a lot lately. Florida’s powerplay struggled early in the season but has been hot lately.
He's nothing if not Swaggy pic.twitter.com/tHjhURD2Ni— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) January 24, 2023
Conversely, the Rangers’ powerplay has been pretty good this year, but cold lately. They started with their second unit, but ultimately, they switched back to the usual suspects and Mika Zibanejad regained the lead with a classic one-timer from his spot. It was career goal number 250 for him. Fox and Artemi Panarin got the assists, giving all three of them two points in the first period.
There was a scary moment in the final minute of the period, when Filip Chytil and Sam Bennett got their skates tangled up before Bennett collided with the boards and came up limping. He returned briefly in the second, but left the game after making an awkward turn near the net.
The Rangers slept through the first fifteen minutes of the second, attempting two shots along the way. Florida was thoroughly in control, creating chances and controlling possession. But as we all know, the universe is chaos and there is no justice in the world. So with five minutes to go, Vesey scored a gritty goal to extend the Rangers lead to 3-1. Vincent Trocheck, Barclay Goodrow, and Vesey just kept centering the puck off the face-off, and eventually Vesey got it to go.
he Cats continued to outplay the Rangers early in the third, and fell further behind for their trouble. First it was Alexis Lafreniere, who finished off another greasy sequence of stuffing the puck in the general direction of Lyon until it went in. It broke a 17 game scoreless streak. Hopefully this will be a confidence boost for the beleaguered winger. Zibanejad followed it up with his second of the game, a snipe on the rush set up once again by Panarin and Fox.
This pass from Panarin to Zibanejad pic.twitter.com/pakVxItWsd— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) January 24, 2023
In response, Panthers coach Paul Maurice pulled his goalie for an extra skater with ten minutes left. And hey, I guess it worked! Sort of. Alexander Barkov scored to cut the lead to 5-2. Florida continued to pull their goalie when they could. Eventually Shesterkin got to take his shot and…
Igor Shesterkin just shy of finally netting that goalie goal pic.twitter.com/5VVARd0lO0— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) January 24, 2023
Eventually Chytil iced the game with the empty netter, and 6-2 would be the final.
The pace of play didn’t feel as titled as a 6-2 score would suggest, but the Rangers did okay here. It’s hard to get too down on a six goal performance. Zibanejad, Fox, and Panarin each had three points, as did each player on the Kid Line, though that included an empty netter.
Next up will be the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.