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National Hockey League
Florida 4, NY Rangers 3
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, Florida
Referees: Dean Morton, Graham Skilliter
Linesmen: Tyson Baker, David Brisebois
Attendance: 15857

Carter Verhaeghe scored the go-ahead goal with 9:29 left in the third period as the host Florida Panthers rallied to beat the New York Rangers 4-3 on Wednesday night in Sunrise, Fla.

The Panthers entered the third trailing 2-1, but they tied the score on a goal by MacKenzie Weegar and went ahead on Verhaeghe's wrist shot. Anthony Duclair followed with Florida's third goal of the period.

New York pulled goalie Igor Shesterkin (28 saves) for an extra attacker and got a Chris Kreider goal with 45 seconds left, cutting its deficit to 4-3. But the Rangers ran out of time as they searched for the equalizer.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves to earn the win. Rookie Anton Lundell scored Florida's other goal.

The Rangers (Dec. 17) and Panthers (Dec. 16) each played their first game after a league-wide hiatus. Both squads entered the game ranked among the top six in the NHL in points percentage.

Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad each had one goal and one assist for New York.

The Panthers, who lead the NHL in home wins (15-3-0), prevailed for the first time since Dec. 10. They hadn't won a home game since Dec. 4.

New York, tied for second in the league in road wins (11-5-2), opened the scoring with 11:08 gone in the first period as Ryan Strome's long pass connected with Panarin on a breakaway, one-on-one with Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad. Panarin stickhandled the puck behind his back and let it trail between his legs, leaving Ekblad flailing. Panarin then slipped the puck between Bobrovsky's pads to complete a spectacular play.

The Panthers, though, stayed in the game by killing the only two penalties in the first period.

Florida tied the score with 5:09 expired in the second. The play started with a Panarin turnover collected by Ryan Lomberg, whose shot was saved by Shesterkin. Gustav Forsling gathered and shot from the circle. Shesterkin stopped the puck again, but this time he left a juicy rebound in the slot for Lundell.

Panarin atoned for his mistake later in the second, stealing the puck from Radko Gudas and dishing a backhander to his right. Zibanejad came racing in to collect the pass and scored on an open right side of the net.

The Panthers tied the score with 14:04 left in the third on the goal by Weegar. Verhaeghe's wrist shot deflected in off of Shesterkin's blocker, and Duclair scored with 5:20 left on a blistering shot just below the crossbar.

Duclair's goal helped Florida withstand New York's rally, which featured Kreider's tap-in tally.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
NY Rangers   Florida
Artemi Panarin 2 Points Gustav Forsling 2
Artemi Panarin 1 Goals Anthony Duclair 1
Artemi Panarin 1 Assists Gustav Forsling 2
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Igor Shesterkin .875 Save Percentage Sergei Bobrovsky .909
Igor Shesterkin 28 Saves Sergei Bobrovsky 30
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
NY Rangers 33 3 0-2 2-2 6 30
Florida 32 4 0-2 2-2 6 37
Upcoming Games
  • Florida will play their next game at home against Tampa Bay. The Panthers have a W/L % of .722 after a win and .500 after a loss.
  • NY Rangers will play their next game on the road against Tampa Bay. The Rangers have a W/L % of .650 after a win and .545 after a loss.