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Reinhart, Barkov Power Florida Panthers to Win over Rangers

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Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky makes a save on K'Andre Miller during the second period of the Panthers 4-2 win over the Rangers at MSG on Monday night. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)

Sam Reinhart and Sasha Barkov stole the show Monday night as the Florida Panthers walked out of the self-proclaimed ‘world’s most famous arena’ with a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers.

Reinhart and Barkov connected for Florida’s first two goals, with the first being one playing on highlight reels just about everywhere.

Barkov juggled the puck around New York Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller to set up Reinhart on a cross-crease feed to tie the game at 1 in the second period. 

“I probably had the same [perspective] as you guys,” Reinhart said of the play. “I had a pretty good vantage point watching him make that play, so it was pretty nice and I kind of expected it out of him.”

They connected again 1:45 later, with Reinhart scoring his second goal of the night and 45th goal of the season, to put the Panthers ahead.

“I think thinking [us] thinking about the same way is huge, and Reino is an amazing player,” Barkov told Bally Sports Florida’s Katie Engleson during the second intermission.

“He has all of the skills in the world and he can play in all situations. When you play with a guy like that, it’s so fun and so easy, and its just been fun with him.”

Reinhart has not skipped a beat since snapping an eight-game goal drought in Thursday’s shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens.

Since then, he has five goals and seven points in three games.

He also added three power-play goals to his league-leading total of 25.

Barkov has also assisted on quite a few of them, picking up assists No. 46 and 47 on Monday.

“I think that Barkov is slightly under-appreciated in the season that Reinhart is having,” Maurice said. “Sam has been brilliant. He has been a fantastic player for us. But Sasha doesn’t have as many goals, maybe it’s a little bit of a quiet numbers year, but it’s the line and the idea that you make the players around you better.

“Sam Reinhart has almost done the same thing for Barkov in that way, but Sasha’s had a great year for him and Sam has been fantastic.”

The Panthers needed a few more supporting acts to help them take down the Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers, too.

Chris Kreider scored a power-play goal late in the second, sending the Eastern Conference juggernauts into the third period at a 2-2 deadlock.

Ryan Lomberg broke it open with a long-range wrist shot 6:11 into the third period to give Florida the lead right back.

After a grind of a third period, that goal was all the Panthers needed before Anton Lundell sank the empty-netter with 58.2 seconds remaining.

“Two top teams going up against one in another in a legendary arena, that’s pretty cool,” Lomberg said. “These are the kinds of games you get up for and have fun in. I’m happy with how the boys played tonight.”

Sergei Bobrovsky backstopped the Panthers well yet again, stopping 26 of 28 and extending his streak of games with two or fewer goals against 11.

The Panthers are 10-1-0 with Bobrovsky in net during that stretch and 14-2-0 in total since it started on Jan. 24.

“He has been freakishly consistent this year,” Maurice said. “He’s just been good just about every single night.

“I think we’ve done a pretty good job of not asking him to be the best player on the ice a lot of nights, but he’s just found a way to do that for us. At the same time, he’s figured out about two or three times every night that he’s going to have to make a save and then it gets quiet. It’s not a barrage, but it’s been two or three bright saves every night.”

The Panthers leave MSG with the best record in the NHL (42-16-4) and have a chance to build on that on Tuesday a few miles away against the New Jersey Devils.

“We’re just kind of day by day right now,” Reinhart said. “We had a big challenge ahead of us today, we got the job done, we liked our game today, now let’s get ready for tomorrow.”

ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS @ NEW JERSEY DEVILS

  • When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Prudential Center, Newark
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM 2;WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Local Odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-190); Puck line (-1.5, +120); Over/Under 6.5 (+100/-125)
  • Season Series (Tied 1-1) — At New Jersey: Panthers 4, Devils 3 (October 16)Tuesday. At Florida: Devils 4, Panthers 1 (Jan. 13).
  • Last Season: Florida won 2-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Devils lead 58-36-7, 7 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Thursday vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

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