The Florida Panthers saw their five-game point streak snapped with a 6-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Monday night as the team once again failed to get a third consecutive victory this season.
Florida dominated possession for the majority of the game but the clock struck midnight on the Alex Lyon Cinderella story to the tune of three goals on 12 shots in the first two periods of the game.
Sam Bennett sustained a lower-body injury late in the first period that he tried to come back from but ultimately kept him from starting the third period.
Florida kept themselves in the game — and even dominated it at times — but New York were able to outlast them and cash in during the third period.
A 16-13 lead in scoring chances and a 22-12 lead in shots turned into a four-goal deficit by the midway point of the third period.
A lot of that had to do with the Rangers’ presence in the slot.
Of Florida’s 16 scoring chances, none of them were high-danger chances.
New York clogged the area in front of their star goaltender and Igor Shesterkin came up with saves on the Panthers’ shots from the perimeter.
When the Rangers did have possession of the puck, they were crashing the net hard and cashing in on bounces near the crease.
Albeit, a lot of that has to do with fatigue for a team that finished its 10th game of a stretch of nine of 11 away from home.
”We just missed some execution on the finish,’’ coach Paul Maurice said. “Their guy made some saves, but I think some of our best offense never got to the net on 2-on-1s. I thought they worked their asses off but the hands were not easy to find tonight. We got behind it and were chasing it.”
The Panthers are going to have to regroup pretty quickly with an important clash against the Pittsburgh Penguins coming up on Tuesday night.
Florida currently sits three points back of the Penguins for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The difference between a regulation win and a regulation loss is being one point back and being five points back.
THE GOALS OF THE GAME
- Rangers 1, Panthers 0 (3:03, 1st): Adam Fox blew by Gus Forsling and beat Alex Lyon with a backhander on a partial breakaway.
- Panthers 1, Rangers 1 (5:56, 1st, PPG): Carter Verhaeghe finishes off a give-and-go play started by Eetu Luostarinen and Anton Lundell to score his 23rd goal of the year on the power play.
- Rangers 2, Panthers 1 (17:21, 1st, PPG): Mika Zibanejad blasts a one-timer from Artemi Panarin home on the power play.
- Rangers 3, Panthers 1 (15:03, 2nd): Jimmy Vesey jammed a rebound past Lyon with chaos ensuing in front of the Florida net.
- Rangers 4, Panthers 1 (7:56, 3rd): Alexis Lafreniere jams in a rebound with chaos in front of the Panther net.
- Rangers 5, Panthers 1 (8:10, 3rd): Zibanejad scores his second of the game on a snap shot.
- Rangers 5, Panthers 2 (11:02, 3rd): Sasha Barkov scores on a rebound 23 seconds after Paul Maurice chose to pull his goalie with over nine minutes remaining.
- Rangers 6, Panthers 2 (16:49): The Panthers again had Lyon out of the game and Filip Chytil cashed in.
COLBY’S THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Mika Zibanejad, New York (2 goals, assist)
2. Adam Fox, New York (goal, 2 assists)
3. Igor Shesterkin, New York (33 saves)
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
- When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
- Where: PPG Arena, Pittsburgh
- 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
- Season Series (Penguins lead 1-0): Pittsburgh 4, Panthers 2 (Dec. 15)
- Last season: Florida won 2-1
- All-time regular season series: Penguins lead 55-35-7, 4 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Friday vs. Los Angeles Kings, 7 p.m.