Rick Nash scored his first goal since returning from a leg injury and Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves in leading the New York Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday night.
Viktor Stalberg, Mats Zuccarello and Tanner Glass also scored for the Rangers, who moved two points ahead of idle Pittsburgh for second place in the Metropolitan Division. New York has nine games left in the regular season, one more than the Penguins, who have won six in a row.
Vincent Trocheck and Jiri Hudler scored for the Panthers, who lost their second straight. The Atlantic Division leaders are two points in front of Tampa Bay with nine games to go, one fewer than the Lightning have left.
Al Montoya stopped 28 shots for Florida, which had a goal waved off by the officials early in the third period. >> Read more
- Well this was a much, much better effort in all facets of the game by the Rangers. They defended well, they executed well, managed the puck pretty well and picked up two points.
- Besides the expected push by the Panthers in the third period, the Rangers played most of the first 40 minutes exactly how they want. They were quick, transitioned well, got big saves from Henrik Lundqvist and kept the key Panthers from making a major impact.
- Brassard and Zuccarello can't seem to figure things out at 5 on 5 but they still make incredible plays to each other on the PP. Zuccarello's goal was outstanding.
- The Rangers wanted a response to the San Jose game and they got it, especially from their big guys. Derick Brassard was good all game and factored into two goals, Ryan McDonagh was really good and Rick Nash looked destined to score from his first couple of shifts.
- All the sudden the Rangers went from not having a fourth line to having a pretty good one. Viktor Stalberg has been pretty good in a few different roles this season and is meshing well with Dominic Moore and Tanner Glass. The Rangers need 4 lines and while the top three lines still may get shuffled, the fourth line looks good.
- It's a nice win for the Rangers but they need to do it again on Wednesday, and then Saturday and Sunday and so on. They don't need to win every game the rest of the year, they just need to give themselves a real fighting chance. They need to defend well, manage the puck well and play with energy. When the Rangers have those three things going they can play with anyone.