The Rangers rallied to tie the Panthers in the third period, but fell in a shootout, 4-3, at the BB&T Center on Saturday night. << Box score
- 19:45 FL Jonathan Huberdeau (Power Play); Assists: Vincent Trocheck, Keith Yandle
- 8:13 FL Frank Vatrano; Assists: Vincent Trocheck, Jonathan Huberdeau
- 13:11 NYR Mats Zuccarello; Assists: Neal Pionk, Ryan Spooner
- 0:17 NYR Mika Zibanejad; Assists: Jesper Fast, Chris Kreider
- 1:02 FL Jamie McGinn; Assists: Alexander Petrovic, Jared McCann
- 7:25 NYR Kevin Hayes; Assists: John Gilmour, Neal Pionk
- Zuccarello SCORES
- Huberdeau MISSES
- Zibanejad MISSES
- Barkov SCORES
- Spooner MISSES
- Trocheck SCORES
From the Rangers Game Notes:
- Kevin Hayes registered a goal, won eight of 15 faceoffs (53.3%), recorded four shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating in 18:11 of ice time. Hayes tallied his 20th goal of the season, adding to his career-high, and he has 20 goals in a season for the first time in his NHL career. He has registered seven points (five goals, two assists) in the last seven games. In addition, Hayes has notched a point in 11 of the last 15 games, and he has recorded 15 points (nine goals, six assists) over the span. Hayes has also registered 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) in 20 games since returning to the Rangers' lineup on Jan. 25, and he leads the Blueshirts in goals and points over the span.
- Mats Zuccarello registered a goal in the second period, tallied a shootout goal, recorded five shots on goal, and posted a plus-one rating in 21:20 of ice time. Zuccarello has tallied a goal in each of the last two games and has recorded 98 goals in his NHL career. He has also notched a point in 12 of the last 23 games (four goals, 10 assists over the span). Zuccarello leads the Rangers in points this season (46). As of the conclusion of tonight's game, Zuccarello is tied for fourth in the NHL in shootout goals this season (four). He is the Rangers' all-time leader in shootout goals (23).
- Mika Zibanejad tallied a goal, led all skaters with six shots on goal, tied for game-highs with three hits and 12 faceoff wins (12-for-21; 57.1%), and posted a plus-one rating in 18:13 of ice time. He registered his 20th goal of the season, and he has recorded 20 or more goals in a season for the third time in his NHL career. Zibanejad is one goal away from tying his career-high of 21, which he recorded in 2015-16. He has registered a goal/point in three of the last five games (three goals, one assist over the span), and he has recorded three points (two goals, one assist) in the last three contests. Zibanejad has now tallied 98 goals in his NHL career.
- I hope this is the effort that the Rangers bring every night for the rest of the season. I want them to compete, I want them to work hard and I want the young players on this team, who will stick around, to play in these types of games and get better. More efforts like this might also allow the Rangers to feel comfortable with Alain Vigneault staying on as coach next season.
- The Rangers will still lose more than they win down the stretch, which is what most seem to want, but this is important development time for most everyone and being competitive and playing well will help the Rangers in the future. You can argue, as many will, that losing and getting a better odds in the draft lottery will help the Rangers in the future as well.
- Kevin Hayes is really starting to look like he is turning a corner and becoming the strong two-way center Alain Vigneault has wanted him to become. He is certainly making a strong case to stick around as part of the rebuild. Ryan Spooner, with more points tonight, is doing the same.
- Mats Zuccarello looked like Mats Zuccarello tonight. He scored, had a number of other chances and looked a lot like the player the Rangers expect him to be. It's better late than never, especially if the Rangers are planning to move him this summer. That shootout goal he scored certainly doesn't hurt his value either.
- Henrik Lundqvist was really strong tonight and made a number of big saves. He was beaten in the shootout twice and while I'm sure he thinks he could have stopped those attempts, Barkov and Trocheck put together some world class moves.
- Next up for the Rangers is Carolina. They are in a position right now like the Rangers were in at points in the last three weeks: close to a playoff spot in terms of points but very far in likelihood of actually making it.
What's next: The Rangers will host the Hurricanes on Monday at 7 p.m.