Gerard Gallant frustrated despite New York Rangers handing Panthers first regulation loss
The New York Rangers returned home after their second 4 game road trip of the season. Awaiting them at Madison Square Garden was last undefeated team in the NHL.
A furious last-minute comeback fell short Monday night for the visiting Florida Panthers, who took their first regulation loss of the season as the New York Rangers hung on for a 4-3 win.
Igor Shesterkin allowed two goals in the final 1:26 but made 42 saves for the Rangers, who snapped a three-game losing streak (0-1-2).
Gerard Gallant was not pleased with the effort
The Rangers were outshot 45-18 but carried a 4-0 lead into the third period thanks to a power-play goal by Chris Kreider and a short-handed goal by Adam Fox in the first period and 4-on-4 goals by K’Andre Miller and Ryan Strome 30 seconds apart in the second.
“No fun watching that,” head coach Gerard Gallant said. “You win a game against an undefeated team and you don’t feel good about that win. I’ll take the 2 points but it’s not the way you’ve got to play hockey.”
The Panthers, whose 10-0-1 start was the best 11-game start in the NHL since the Buffalo Sabres opened 10-0-1 in 2006-07, roared back in the third period, when Eetu Luostarinen scored 20 seconds after faceoff and Sam Reinhart and Patric Hornqvist scored in a 46-second span.
Florida had a chance to tie the game after pulling goalie Spencer Knight, but Shesterkin turned back a shot by MacKenzie Weegar with 11 seconds left and Jacob Trouba blocked a shot by Jonathan Huberdeau in the final second.
“We battled for two periods and that third period, just, it’s not acceptable for us,” Gallant continued. “We’ve got to fight through it. We’ve got to grow up. We’ve got to be men and fight through it late in the hockey game.”
Rangers putting up goals
Kreider put back the rebound of a redirect by Mika Zibanejad 7:52 into the first. Fox, open near the right faceoff circle, took a whirling pass from Barclay Goodrow and beat Knight with the backhand for the short-handed tally with 5.9 seconds left.
Miller extended the lead to 3-0 with a highlight reel goal. After taking a pass from Kreider deep in the Rangers zone and darting up the right side of the ice, Miller, with one hand on his stick, darted past Weegar around the Panthers’ blue line, maneuvered the puck in front of him beyond Weegar’s reach and flicked a shot into the left corner of the net at the 12:48 mark.
“I’ve been watching a lot of McDavid film,” Miller joked. “Trying to emulate that into my game.”
Strome then beat Knight beyond his glove and the Rangers posted a 4 goal game after being shutout by the Flames.
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–Field Level Media