Rangers Blow Third Period Lead But Win In Shootout

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After nearly a week of no games, the Rangers headed to Florida to take on the Panthers. And like all of their previous road wins, this one went to a shootout. But unlike their last game on Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets, the Blueshirts were victorious.

Mika Zibanejad – The Rangers center got the Blueshirts on the board in the first period. After Kevin Hayes’ point shot hit Jimmy Vesey in front, the puck laid on the ice for Mika to put into the Florida net. The goal was Zibanejad’s ninth of the season, as the Swede continues to prove his value to the Rangers.

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Vladislav Namestnikov – After missing the last handful of games with a concussion, forward Vlad Namestnikov got himself back on the scoresheet late in the first period. With the Blueshirts shorthanded, Kevin Hayes did some great work and found Namestnikov cutting to the front of the net. Namestnikov corralled the pass and beat Luongo for his third of the season. Prior to his injury, with Mats Zuccarello our of the lineup, #90 had been seeing first line minutes alongside the aforementioned Mika Zibanejad. Whether or not he returns to that role remains to be seen, but Namestnikov definitely had an impact in this one.

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Matt Beleskey – When Beleskey was called up in the wake of Cody McLeod’s injury, the hope was that the 30-year-old forward would provide a spark to David Quinn’s lineup. And while he has certainly does that physically, Beleskey got on the scoresheet tonight with his first as a Ranger. After Tony DeAngelo worked the puck to Brady Skjei, the point shot from the defenseman was deftly redirected in front by Beleskey. The goal was the first for Beleskey since the 2016-17 season while he was with the Boston Bruins.

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Fredrik Claesson – The veteran defenseman has been a model of consistency when he’s been in the lineup for the Rangers. And tonight, with the game tied at 3, Claesson beat Roberto Luongo with a laser over the netminder’s glove to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead. Claesson’s goal was his second of the season as the defenseman continued his solid play in tonight’s victory.

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Henrik Lundqvist – Though he’d probably want the first two goals back, when the Rangers needed him, King Henrik came up big. The Panthers controlled the puck during most of the extra frame, but they were unable to beat Lundqvist, who made this spectacular save on Mike Matheson late in overtime. The win was the 441st of his storied career as King Henrik continues to make his case for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Too Close For Comfort – Despite winning tonight’s game, the Rangers were unable to close out their opponent in the third period. This has become a theme for the Rangers this season, as far too many games have gone to extra time. The Blueshirts have a goal differential that is towards the bottom of the league and being able to defend leads late in the game will need to be worked on by David Quinn and the Blueshirts.

Next Game: The Rangers will try and sweep their Florida trip when they face the Lightning on Monday night in Tampa. Puck drops at 730!

LETS GO RANGERS!!