Richards' SO goal lifts Rangers over Panthers 2-1
- Associated Press
- December 31, 2013 - 7:10 PM
SUNRISE, Fla. — Brad Richards scored the lone goal in the shootout, and the New York Rangers rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Richards beat Tim Thomas with a wrist shot to the top left corner after Thomas stopped the first two New York attempts in the tiebreaker. Henrik Lundqvist made a save against Brad Boyes to seal the Rangers' victory.
New York defenseman Dan Girardi scored with 2:10 left in regulation to send the game to overtime. Boyes had given the Panthers a 1-0 lead with a second-period goal after a Rangers turnover.
Thomas made 29 saves through overtime, and Lundqvist stopped 21, including one in the closing seconds of overtime on Tomas Fleischmann.
It was the third and final meeting between the teams this season.
Girardi, whose earlier blunder cost the Rangers a goal, came through late to tie it. Girardi's wrist shot from the left circle beat Thomas after Derek Stepan found Girardi with a pass as he broke in from the blue line. The goal prevented Thomas from earning his first shutout in nearly two years.
Thomas maintained his composure and came up with four saves in overtime, including one from close range by Ryan McDonagh.
Florida broke through in the second on Boyes' 10th of the season. Girardi retrieved a loose puck, and his pass attempt from behind the net was intercepted by Aleksander Barkov, who quickly fed the puck to Boyes in front. Boyes beat Lundqvist with a backhander between his pads.
Lundqvist was able to keep it a 1-0 deficit despite a 4-minute penalty to Richards midway through the third period when he high-sticked Nick Bjugstad in the face.
New York went 0 for 3 on the power play after scoring three power-play goals on three chances Sunday in a 4-3 win at Tampa Bay. The Rangers came in with at least one power-play goal in five of their last six games.
Rangers defenseman Marc Staal made his return to the ice after missing 10 games because of a concussion sustained on Dec. 7 against New Jersey. He played nearly 24 minutes, the third-highest total on the team.
NOTES: New York won the first two meetings, outscoring the Panthers 9-5. . Barkov has a four-game point streak (1-3-4) and nine points in 10 games. . Thomas played in his 400th NHL game. His last shutout was on March 19, 2012, against Toronto when he was with Boston. ... Florida won eight games in December in 1995 and 2005. . New York will continue its road trip at Pittsburgh on Friday. Florida will host Nashville on Saturday.
© 2014 Star Tribune