SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 30: Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers stops a shot by Stephen Weiss #9 of the Florida Panthers on December 30, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Rangers defeated the Panthers 4-1. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Florida Panthers Win A Hard Point On The Road, Losing In Overtime To The New York Rangers, 3-2

The Panthers look to even the season series with the NHL leading New York Rangers tonight in Madison Square Garden.

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Rangers And Panthers Stay Knotted At One After Two

Florida started out a man down for the first 1:46 of the period, but successfully killed off the penalty.

The teams traded chances for the first five minutes of the period, getting two shots apiece on goal. Shawn Matthias had a chance on a short breakaway but put it right in Biron’s chest pad for an easy save.

At the ten minute mark, Dmitry Kulikov took exception when Rangers captain Ryan Callahan got a little too close to goalie Scott Clemmensen, but the scrum never escalated, as all five Panthers came to Kulikov’s defense, ready to dance.

At the 11-minute mark, Kris Versteeg skated through several Rangers deep in the Rangers zone, finding Tomas Fleischmann for what could have been an easy goal, but Fleischmann was not quite ready for the pass.

Florida went on their first power play of the night with seven minutes left in the second period when Ruslan Fedotenko boarded Mike Santorelli. Four clears, an offsides call and two missed shots later, the Rangers went back to even strength.

Hits: Rangers, 36-18

Blocked Shots: Rangers, 12-9

Faceoffs: Rangers, 21-20

Shots on Goal: Rangers, 24-13

Score: Rangers 1, Panthers 1


Florida Panthers Tie New York Rangers At One After First Period

Florida’s lineup featured Marcel Goc and Mikael Samuelsson for the first time in several weeks. The Panthers are happy to get some fresh legs back into the lineup, as the battered Florida forward corps has been down by as many as seven skaters in recent days. Scottie Upshall, Sean Bergenheim, Jack Skille and Marco Sturm remain sidelined with various ailments.

Florida got on the board early when Matt Bradley hit a Ranger and stole the puck in the Florida zone, passing up ahead to a streaking Marcel Goc for an odd man rush with Mikael Samuelsson. Goc gave it to Sammy who instantly sent it back for a streaking one timer for the goal with four minutes gone in the first period. It was Goc’s third goal of the season.

The Rangers had more chances in the first ten minutes of the period, outshooting the Panthers eight shots to five, but Clemmensen was standing tall in net for the Cats.

Mike Rupp soon after had a point blank shot on an uncontrolled rebound in front of Florida goaltender Scott Clemmensen, but missed the puck then was foiled by a diving Shawn Bradley.

With just under three minutes remaining, a stray puck hit Michael Del Zotto in the face, stopping play so a visibly bleeding Del Zotto was escorted to the bench.

Less than a minute later, the Rangers scored the equalizer on a slapshot from the right faceoff circle by Anton Stralman, his first of the season with an assist by Ruslan Fedotenko.

With 15 seconds left in the period, the first penalty of the game was called on Mike Weaver. The Panthers killed off the short power play and will start the second down a man.

Hits: Rangers, 16-11

Blocked Shots: Tied, 5-5

Faceoffs: Rangers, 14-11

Shots on Goal: Rangers, 16-8

Score: Rangers 1, Panthers 1

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