NHL Game Summary - Florida at NY Rangers
(Thursday, April 18th)
Final Score: NY Rangers 6, Florida 1
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard each
scored a pair of goals to lead the New York Rangers to a 6-1 rout of the
Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden.
Rick Nash added a goal and two assists to the win, which kept the Rangers in
the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference heading into its
last five regular-season games.
New York is currently tied with Winnipeg in the standings, but owns a game in
hand on the Jets.
Brad Richards scored once and assisted on another for New York, with Henrik
Lundqvist doing his part as well by turning aside 34-of-35 shots between the
"We just made plays tonight," Brassard remarked. "We played a fast game and we
just executed and guys finished. It's a big win and a big two points for us."
Jonathan Huberdeau recorded the lone goal for the cellar-dwelling Panthers,
who have now been outscored by a 21-6 margin in losing their last four
matchups. Scott Clemmensen finished with 24 saves in the setback.
Facing the NHL's worst penalty-killing team this season, the Rangers cashed in
on each of their first two power-play opportunities to build a two-goal
advantage and never trailed thereafter.
The first came just over three minutes after the opening faceoff, with the
Panthers' Eric Gudbrandson in the box for concealing the puck. Ryan Callahan
missed wide from in close, but Nash corralled the carom and delivered a
behind-the-net pass that Brassard knocked home.
Nash made it 2-0 a little over six minutes later, beating Clemmensen to the
stick side with a wrister from the right circle with Florida defenseman Dmitry
Kulikov sent off for hooking Zuccarello.
"It was huge for us to score the first two goals on the power play," said
Brassard. "We have been struggling (in that area), so to score the first goal
in the game means a lot."
The Panthers were able to cut the deficit in half before the end of the
period, however. A rush up the ice ended when Huberdeau put a nifty fake on
Zuccarello before rocketing the puck past Lundqvist through traffic with 3:43
left in the frame.
Lundqvist kept New York in front by stoning Quinton Howden on a breakaway
attempt shortly afterward, then came up with 11 more stops during a second
period in which Zuccarello produced the only goal.
Ryane Clowe fought off a check from behind the Florida net before sending a
centering pass that Zuccarello collected and successfully went upstairs
Clemmensen with a backhander 3:26 prior to the second intermission.
The Rangers then ripped off three goals within a span of under 3 1/2 minutes
in the final period to put the contest well out of reach.
Zuccarello began the barrage by tipping in a pass Richards slid into the
crease to make the score 4-1 with 4:49 left to play. Just 84 seconds
afterward, Brassard one-timed a give from Michael Del Zotto while stationed in
the left slot for the recent trade acquisition's first two-goal effort as a
Richards put the finishing touches on the lopsided win by getting free down
the left side of the ice, then converting a wraparound of his own rebound with
"The game finished ugly," stated Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen. "That's the
nature of it. [Teams fighting for the playoffs] are what we're going to see
from here on out. They are cookie monsters out there, hungry at the end of the
Zuccarello recorded the second two-goal effort of his career, with the first
coming against Philadelphia on Mar. 6, 2011 ... The 19-year-old Huberdeau now
has 28 points on the season, surpassing Radek Dvorak's franchise mark by a
teenager of 27 ... The Rangers went 2-for-4 on the power play after failing to
score in 14 chances with the man advantage over their previous four tilts ...
Rangers forward Brian Boyle missed the game due to a leg injury sustained in
Tuesday's 4-2 loss at Philadelphia ... With defensemen Filip Kuba (lower body)
and Tyson Strachan (upper body) out of the lineup, the Panthers recalled
rookie blueliner Alex Petrovic from AHL San Antonio on Thursday for his NHL
debut ... Callahan finished with two assists while skating in his 400th career
04/18 23:39:32 ET
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