The New York Rangers put on a special teams clinic Monday night — and the Florida Panthers point streak came to a crashing end.
Although the Panthers completely dominated while 5-on-5, the Rangers blew the Panthers all the way to New Jersey while on the power play, the penalty kill and on 4-on-4.
The Rangers scored a power play goal, got a shorthanded one at the end of the first then scored twice while each team had a player in the penalty box as they held on for a 4-3 win at Madison Square Garden.
The Panthers, who scored three in the third period, will try and get back in the win column Tuesday night against the Devils in Newark.
Through the first two periods, the Panthers were dominating both 5-on-5 scoring chances (29-7), shots on goal (21-4) and time of possession.
Those numbers only got bigger as the third period went along.
Only the scoreboard told a different story.
Florida did not get its first goal of the game until Eetu Luostarinen got his fourth of the season 26 seconds into the third.
Sam Reinhart got the second with 1:26 remaining to make it a two-goal game. Hornqvist then scored with 39.2 seconds left.
Unlike that night in Boston two years ago — when Aaron Ekblad’s early third-period goal helped kick off a 5-4 comeback win in overtime — the Panthers could not claw out of this hole despite putting on a desperate charge at the end.
Another minute — perhaps even 10 extra seconds — and things may have ended differently.
Florida, which had Sasha Barkov back on the ice after he missed Saturday’s game against the Hurricanes, found themselves down 2-0 going into the second but kept up what was an impressive offensive assault.
After holding the Rangers without a shot on their second power play of the night, it looked like New York had a 3-0 lead on a goal from Artemi Panarin.
Ryan Strome was blocking Spencer Knight from making the move and Florida’s challenge for goalie interference took the goal off the board at 9:10 of the second.
The Rangers would get it back.
With Aaron Ekblad in the box for holding and Alexis LaFreniere in for embellishment, New York broke things open with a pair of 4-on-4 goals.
First, K’Andre Miller drove in and beat Knight with a nice backhand shot at 12:48. Just 30 seconds later, Panarin and Strome hooked up to make it 4-0.
The loss at the Garden was Knight’s first in regulation of his regular season career.
Knight, who had family and friends in the building, is now 8-1-1 to start.
The first half of the opening period belonged to the Rangers who definitely looked to be on their game following a 0-1-2 swing through western Canada.
New York was keeping the Panthers from setting up in their zone and took a 1-0 lead off its first power play of the night. Chris Kreider got it by putting in a loose puck off the doorstep at 6:52.
The Rangers were outshooting the Panthers 8-3 at that point.
The ice certainly tilted in Florida’s direction the rest of the way in the first as the Panthers pelted Igor Shesterkin with quality scoring chances and got off the next eight shots.
Florida had numerous opporunities to tie the score, first from Luostarinen and then from Anthony Duclair and Barkov.
Yet while Florida was on the power play in the final minute of the first, the Rangers took possession of the puck deep in the Florida zone and raced up the ice.
Reigning Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox got the puck in the slot, drove in and put a backhanded shot past Knight with 5.9 seconds remaining.
It was the first shot on goal by the Rangers in 13 minutes of game time.
And, it was the first time Florida had found itself down two goals since the opening night overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Florida would not be coming back to win this one, however.
The Rangers can — and will — thank Shesterkin for this one as he kept the Panthers at bay throughout the night. He ended with 42 saves.
This one was a goalie win.
Just look at the final shot attempts: Florida 91, Rangers 37.
That is not a typo.
GR’S THREE STARS OF THE NIGHT
1. Igor Shesterkin, Rangers
2. Chris Kreider, Rangers
3. Eetu Luostarinen, Florida
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT NEW JERSEY DEVILS
- WHEN: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
- WHERE: Prudential Center, Newark
- TICKETS: CLICK HERE
- STREAMING ONLY: ESPN+ / Hulu
- RADIO: WQAM 560-AM
- Last season: Did not play