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NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Panthers Slow Down Rangers with 3-2 Win


TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

The Panthers have had ample opportunity to slow down the playoff aspirations of opponents for the past couple of weeks.

Until Tuesday night, however, they didn't do anything about it.

Thanks in great part of a strong defensive effort and a terrific game from goalie Jacob Markstrom, the Panthers held off the Rangers' playoff party for at least another night by pulling off a 3-2 win at BB&T Center.

With a win, the Rangers would have clinched a playoff spot and assured the Panthers of the first last-place NHL finish in franchise history. Both of those things will likely happen before week's end.

Only they didn't happen on Tuesday as Florida snapped its six game losing streak.

"We had a meeting yesterday and talked about laying down and doing nothing or going out as hard as we can, win some games,'' said Markstrom, who went 2-0 against Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers by stopping 80 of 83 shots in the victories.

"The guys did a great job. We skated hard for 60 minutes. .-.-. The whole team, from the start, played confident and made that push.''

Markstrom took a puck to the chin late in the game but after a quick patch job returned to the net. Good thing. Markstrom, who stopped 36 of 38 shots on Tuesday, was a difference maker.

The Rangers, with two games left, need two points to advance to the playoffs; Winnipeg must win its finale and hope for some help.

"We were 1-1 against them and wanted to win this series,'' coach Kevin Dineen said. "It was a hard-fought win. It was good to get it in front of our fans and shut theirs up.''

The Panthers were held to a season-tying low two shots in a scoreless opening period, finally taking a 1-0 lead 5:04 into the second when Tomas Fleischmann got a chunk of a Filip Kuba wrist shot and put it past Lundqvist.

New York, which started a three-game winning streak by thumping the Panthers 6-1 at MSG last Thursday, tied the score in the third but watched the Panthers get the go-ahead goal when Marcel Goc redirected a Fleischmann feed on a power play.

The Panthers opened it to 3-1 on Drew Shore's empty net goal while Florida was killing off a penalty. That goal came up huge as the Rangers got their second of the night with 32.9 seconds left.

"We had a great team effort, got great goaltending,'' defenseman Brian Campbell said. "We found a way. We knew they were going to press. We did a pretty good job holding them off.''


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looks like Weiss will not be re signed as Lindsey and mouthpiece Goldie Goldstein were stressing how impt it was to bring up draft picks to keeps salary cap down.Just my gut opinion.I think Bjugstad was signed to replace the center position vacated by Weiss.Love to see Weiss agree to a 2 yr deal at around 4 million/yr but that will not happen.Nice of NHL to change 1st round pick rules to lessen our chance of getting Seth Jones from 68% to 25%.Old boys club again.

Kulikov, Gudbranson, Petrovic, Robak, Matheson... I hope we don't draft Seth Jones. If we're not getting Weiss back than we need MacKinnon more than ever. Bjugstad will most likely slot better as 2nd line center.

OH! and Brennan. We're loaded on defenseman. Don't let this season fool you. Defense takes time to develop and Kuba is a pylon. We need more offensive power and creativity.

Weiss will be signed. Tallon is smart. He knows how important it is to have veteran character in the room. Especially someone that has played his whole career here and has let everyone know he wants to stay.

Litespeedvb1 - good comments. Let's hope they do resign Weiss.

With respect to a draft pick- if we do land the #1 pick, I say Luce should choose the best possible player regardless of position. If that turns out to be D Seth Jones, then so be it! Too bad the Cats only have a 25% chance of getting the #1 pick (for all the misery the fans have had to put up with this season).

Luis, very good points. I agree with you that we don't need Jones.
However, our picks this year should not be in the lineup next season. It is too soon. They need to develop in the AHL before brought up. History has shown we do a disservice to these kids if we bring them in too soon. Look at Edmonton, they have 3 or 4 first picks in their lineup and non are really playing to their projected potential because in my opinion they where used too early by a desperate team just like we did for a number of years.

Personally I would love to see Huberdeau and Drouin on the same team in a couple of years. That could be something.....

Tallon has his hands full to try to pick the right guys in this draft. He also has to shore up the team for next season, so this off-season is going to be very interesting. Playoffs next season has to be the minimum goal. Let's get healthy and add the missing pieces and do it right next season!

remember that the cap is going way down next year and that a lot of teams will be looking to dump salary.

You build a team from the goalie to the d to center, teams that win today have dmen that can move the puck quickly for the forwards, also only moving down one space guarantees a top 3 pick where before we could fall 3 spots.

I would go with Jones, or if the deal is right trade down with Colorado who wants Jones really bad get

weiss doesn't want to sign here, its his last chance to win a cup

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