SUNRISE, Fla. – The New York Rangers overcame another late tying goal to complete a Florida sweep.
Markus Naslund and Nikolai Zherdev scored in the shootout to give the Rangers a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Friday night.
Henrik Lundqvist allowed Rostislav Olesz’s goal in the tiebreaker, then stopped the final two attempts to improve to 5-1 in shootouts this season. Lundqvist has allowed only two goals in 17 shootout attempts this season.
Lundqvist made 38 saves, and Zherdev, Dan Fritsche and Aaron Voros scored for New York. Radek Dvorak, Jay Bouwmeester and David Booth countered for Florida.
On Wednesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning tied the Rangers with 50 seconds left, but Lundqvist turned aside two shootout attempts in a 3-2 victory.
The Rangers won their third consecutive game, while Florida lost for the fifth time in seven games.
“You find ways to win and this team has been able to do that this year,” Rangers coach Tom Renney said. “As much as nobody wants to give us a lot of credit for that, I will.”
Lundqvist rebounded after the late tying goal.
“It was a good shot. He just roofed it on the backhand. It was a good move,” Lundqvist said. “I was still mad for letting in the third one. When they tie it so late, you get a little upset.”
Craig Anderson stopped 43 shots for Florida. He’s 0-2 in shootouts this season.
“That’s about as hard as we can play,” Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. “If you looked at the lineups on paper we probably didn’t have any business being on the ice with them. Our guys, through guts and will, found a way to compete tonight.”
Booth tied it at 3 with 1:33 left in the third. The Panthers had a 2-on-1 and Booth took a pass from Dvorak and got off a shot that went between Lundqvist’s shoulder and the left post. Booth extended his goal streak to four games. It was the second time in as many games that Booth came through late with a tying goal.
“A point is better than no point but we can’t settle for making one play every night, we have to make two,” Booth said.
The Rangers took a 3-2 lead at 7:04 of the third when Voros picked up a loose puck at the left circle and put a wrister over Anderson’s glove.
“The puck squirted loose and I was able to get it upstairs,” Voros said.
Florida had a 5-on-3 for 1:47 of the third, but the Rangers killed the penalty.
The Panthers tied it at 2 on Bouwmeester’s power-play goal. His slap shot from the blue line deflected off a New York defenceman and bounced past Lundqvist and into the net with 1:03 left in the second, just five seconds into the power play. Bouwmeester has two goals in two games after failing to score in the 20 this season.
New York scored two goals in a 46-second span of the first. Zherdev’s backhanded shot from the right side crossed in front of the crease to the side of the net to make it 1-0 at 1:53. The second goal came on Fritsche’s shot from just inside the left circle that beat Anderson on the stick side.
Florida closed to 2-1 when Ville Peltonen brought the puck out from behind the net. He passed to Dvorak in front and the puck deflected off Dvorak’s skate and between Lundqvist’s pads at 12:32 of the first. A video review upheld the goal.
Notes: Florida recalled C Shawn Matthias from Rochester on Friday. It is the second recall this season for Matthias. He played in one game for the Panthers, Oct. 30 against Ottawa. … Nick Tarnasky, acquired from Nashville on Thursday, made his debut for the Panthers. … Florida’s Nathan Horton suffered a deep cut on his right ankle on Wednesday against New Jersey and will miss at least two games…Rangers coach Tom Renney got to the point when asked about his team’s 0-for-5 power play. “You get tired of saying that, but we have to unload from the point,” he said. “That’s the payoff shot.”