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Big Apples: Florida Panthers 4, New York Rangers 3



SUNRISESasha Barkov has not scored a goal in the past three games but the Florida Panthers captain came up big again Friday night against the New York Rangers.

Barkov picked up his second three-assist night in as many games as he helped the Panthers beat the Rangers 4-3 in Game 1 of their annual New Year’s Doubleheader.

With the third assist — his eighth in the past three wins — Barkov tied Jonathan Huberdeau for the franchise record with No. 415 with the Panthers.

The assists record was the final major offensive franchise mark Barkov was tracking down.

Now, the Panthers’ record book pretty much belongs to Barkov.

Two of Barkov’s assists came off the stick of Sam Reinhart who picked up goal Nos. 22 and 23.

The second one came on a deflection of a Barkov power play shot with 2:53 left in the second to give Florida a 3-2 lead.

Barkov left the game with 8:37 left after taking a high shoulder to the jaw from Alexis Lafreniere on a play which was downgraded from a 5-minute major to 2-minute minor.

The Rangers tied the score at 3 on a shorthanded goal — but Carter Verhaeghe gave Florida the lead right back.

Florida had led 2-0 thanks to goal from Evan Rodrigues and Reinhart before a couple of miscues with the puck led to New York goals.

Aside from those wide open shots, Sergei Bobrovsky was on top of his game Friday — as was Jonathan Quick who took his strong goal play against the Panthers east from Los Angeles to New York.

Both goalies stole the show early as they matched big saves — including a wild kick save from Quick on Eetu Luostarinen in the first period.

The third was a little nuts as the Rangers tied it on a shorthanded goal from Mika Zibanejad with Lafreniere in the box for the hit on Barkov.

But Verhaeghe gave the Panthers the lead right back with that sweet shot from the slot.


  • Panthers 1, Rangers 0 (18:45, 1st): Evan Rodrigues takes a pass from Sasha Barkov, slides into the circle and fires a shot which clips Jonathan Quick in the shoulder on its way into the back of the net.
  • Panthers 2, Rangers 0 (7:12, 2nd): Sam Reinhart and Barkov hook up for the first time as the Florida captain sends a slick shot through traffic from behind to net — and puts it right on Reinhart’s stick for No. 22.
  • Panthers 2, Rangers 1 (13:23, 2nd): Artemi Panarin beats pal Sergei Bobrovsky as Florida turns over the puck and he is all alone to take a pass from Alexis Lafreniere. 
  • Rangers 2, Panthers 2 (14:36, 2nd): Another Florida turnover leads to a 2-on-1 with K’Andre Miller finding Will Cuylle and he buries it.
  • Panthers 3, Rangers 2 (17:07, 2nd PP): Barkov sends a laser to the net with Reinhart knocking it down and past Quick. Barkov now shares the franchise assist mark (415) with Jonathan Huberdeau.
  • Rangers 3, Panthers 2 (12:15, 3rd SH): Mika Zibanejad scores shorthanded with Barkov in the locker room.
  • Panthers 4, Rangers 3 (13:37, 3rd): Carter Verhaeghe spins and fires one past Quick to give Florida the lead right back.


1. Sasha Barkov, Florida

2. Sam Reinhart, Florida

3. Carter Verhaeghe, Florida

Panthers canadiens



  • When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise 
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5 FM-2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Last Season: Florida won 4-0
  • This Season — At Montreal: Panthers 5, Canadiens 1 (Nov. 30). At Florida: Saturday; Feb. 29.
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Florida leads 56-38-11, 6 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Jan. 2, 2024, at Arizona, 9 p.m.

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