NHL Game Summary - NY Rangers at Florida
(Saturday, March 13th)
Final Score: Florida 3, NY Rangers 2 (OT)
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Olli Jokinen scored with 2:06 left in overtime to lift the Florida Panthers to a much-need 3-2 win over the New York Rangers at the Office Depot Center.
Jokinen, who now has overtime winners in consecutive games, scored on a 2-on-1 rush with Donald Audette to give the Panthers two points they desperately needed. Florida trails the idle New York Islanders by seven points for the final playoff spot with 10 games left in its season.
Lyle Odelein factored in all three Florida goals with a goal and two assists and Nathan Horton netted the other. Roberto Luongo made 37 saves for the win, the second in a row for the Panthers.
Sandy McCarthy and Fedor Tyutin tallied for the Rangers, who have lost three of their last four (1-2-0-1). Making his Rangers debut, Jamie McLennan turned aside 29 shots in a losing effort,
McLennan never had a chance on the game-winner, as Audette made a perfect feed from the top of the right circle across to a wide-open Jokinen, who easily tapped the puck home for his 22nd of the campaign.
"I don't know the last time we were down 2-0 and came back and won," said Florida head coach John Torchetti. "We gave them both goals on turnovers."
After a scoreless first period that saw New York outshoot the Panthers 12-8, McCarthy opened the scoring as he made Florida's Andreas Lilja pay for a costly miscue 8:23 into the second. Lilja had just skated out when he tried to pass the puck up the middle, but it flubbed off his stick. McCarthy took possession and fired it past the stick side of Luongo.
The game stayed quiet until a wild flurry closed out the middle stanza.
Tyutin's tally, the first of his career, came with 2:23 left as the Rangers were shorthanded by two men. He collected a loose puck in the high slot and made a nice move to his left around Jokinen before beating a sprawled-out Luongo from a sharp angle.
It didn't take long for Florida to answer on the 5-on-3 as Odelein scored his first of the year on a low point shot through traffic 27 seconds later for the first of two goals in a 31-second span that evened the contest at 2-2.
"That's what veteran leaders do for your hockey club," Torchetti added. "Every night they want to be out there when it's a big play, and there was no better time for him to get his first goal."
Odelein made a sweet move to help Horton notch the equalizer. After taking a cross-ice feed from Juraj Kolnik, Odelein walked towards the side of the cage to draw McLennan out of his crease. He then threw the puck between the goalie and the post in an attempt to backhand it home, but it was Horton who was able to finish off the play.
Rangers rookie Jozef Balej came within inches of breaking the tie for his first NHL goal, but his slap shot from the top of the right circle rang off the far post just prior to the midway point of the final period.
With around 6 1/2 minutes left, Jaromir Jagr put on a one-man show for naught as Luongo thwarted a a flurry of point-blank chances. Jagr stickhandled through the slot but his initial shot was stopped and Luongo deflected his rebound chance over the top of the net. A still-determined Jagr retrieved the puck behind the net and continued on a wraparound that hit the far post and Luongo fell on it for a stoppage.
"I thought Jagr played a great game tonight," said Torchetti. "He was dangerous every time he stepped on the ice."
Luongo stopped all three shots he faced in the extra stanza.
Jokinen had the game-deciding marker in Thursday's overtime win over Montreal...The Rangers acquired McLennan from Calgary just prior to the trade deadline last week in the deal that sent Chris Simon to the Flames...Florida defeated New York for the first time this season in four tries (1-2-1)...The win also ended the Rangers' five-game unbeaten streak in Sunrise (4-1-1).
03/14 00:39:14 ET