Rangers Pounce On Panthers For Third Win Of The Season

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Mats Zuccarello got on the scoresheet for the first time this season, Mika Zibanejad added a pair of goals, and Alexandar Georgiev stopped 36 Florida shots en route to the Rangers third win of the season.

The Killer ZZs – Despite being down 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes, the Rangers stormed back to take a 3-1 lead on the backs of Mika Zibanejad and Mats Zuccarello. Zibanejad got the Rangers on the board while the Rangers were shorthanded. After a neutral zone turnover by the Panthers, Zibanejad took the pass from Adam McQuaid and beat Michael Hutchinson on a wraparound.

Mats Zuccarello gave the Rangers their first lead of the game with his first goal of the season on the power play. Zibanejad won the faceoff to Neal Pionk, and he passed over to Zuccarello and his shot redirected off of a Panthers player and between the legs of Hutchinson.

Zibanejad finished off the scoring in the second period with a power play goal, his fifth of the season. Following a great job by Neal Pionk to keep the puck in the zone, Pionk passed the puck to Zibanejad and his shot beat Hutchinson over the glove to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead.


Zuccarello got the Rangers their fourth tally of the night on a quick wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle. Zibanejad won the faceoff directly to Zuccarello, and he snapped off a quick shot over the glove of Hutchinson. Zuccarello had tallied six assists coming into the game and now he is finally in the goal column.


Neal Pionk – After being a part of the David Quinn press box club, Pionk has arguably been the team’s best player. Pionk has six assists in the last three games and has been solid in the defensive end as well. In fact, early in the first period in this one, he broke up a 2v1 that could’ve given Florida the lead less than two minutes into the game. Pionk was solid in his audition at the end of last season and, despite his slow start, Pionk has become the most consistent player on the Blueshirts back end.

Brendan Smith – When the Rangers re-signed defenseman Brendan Smith before last season, they were expecting the kind of player that they have gotten this season and not the one that showed up to training camp in September 2017. Smith has been solid in his own end, and against Florida, he dropped the mitts and brought even more life to an already happy MSG crowd. And as the video shows, Smith was fired up after chuckin’ knucks with Maxim Mamin late in the second.

Alexandar Georgiev – After a rough first outing of the season in Carolina, Alexandar Georgiev had been sitting on the bench watching Henrik Lundqvist play five straight games between the pipes for David Quinn’s squad. Because of this gap in his playing time, Georgiev was sent to Hartford over the weekend to get him some game action, and it would appear the young Bulgarian has found his game. Georgiev stopped 36 of Florida’s 38 shots to keep the Rangers in the game and secure the two points for his first win of the season. Georgiev will be getting more playing time as the season goes on, and it will be important for him to be on his game when the team needs him on the ice.

Next Game: The Rangers head out on the road and face the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night at the United Center. Puck drops at 8!


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