New York Rangers hold on vs. Panthers
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

It was an eventful night for the New York Rangers, as they were able to hold off a hot Florida Panthers team. 

Dom Renna

  • Florida Panthers: 2 (7-7-3, 17 points)
  • New York Rangers: 4 (10-8-2, 22 points)
  • FLA Goals: Mike Hoffman (8), Aaron Ekblad (3).
  • NYR Goals: Filip Chytil (3), Brendan Smith (2), Vladislav Namestnikov (2), Chris Kreider (11).
  • NHL. Final. Boxscore.
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.

Following a tough 7-5 loss Thursday night to the New York Islanders, the New York Rangers needed to come out a different team when they faced the Florida Panthers Saturday night. They did just that holding off a Panthers team who is coming off a 5-0-1 stretch beating Florida 4-2in an offensive showcase.

Despite getting off to a great stop thanks to a Filip Chytil goal just 3:03 in, the Rangers found themselves making some of the same mistakes they made Thursday night. Mike Hoffman would go on to score a goal followed by a powerplay goal from Aaron Ekblad and all of sudden the good thoughts had disappeared.

But like we’ve said all year, there is something about this Rangers team. A fight which has them thinking they are always in it.

In his return to the Blueshirts’ lineup, Brendan Smith found himself with some room right above Roberto Luongo’s blocker and made David Quinn look like a genius again.

Smith would be rewarded for his fine play taking the place of Brady Skjei, who was a healthy scratch for the first time in almost two years, seeing 14:49 of ice time in the first two periods.

The solid play from Smith along the goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist allowed New York to stay in it. Lundqvist would finish the night with 39 saves, along with picking up an assist on the Rangers fourth goal of the night. With the win, Lundqvist moved into sole possession of seventh place on the NHL’s all-time wins list.

Just like Thursday night, this one had some a little bit of controversy. Fresh off a face-off, Vladislav Namestnikov’s shot somehow ended up in the back of the net. Looking at the replay if the referee had not originally called this one a goal, it probably would not have called a goal after review.

New York would add a power-play goal from Chris Kreider in the third period, and held on for the 4-2win. They are now 7-1-1 in their last nine games having and have played themselves right back into the thick of the playoff race as we approach Thanksgiving.

After having an off day Sunday, the Rangers return to the Garden Monday night to take on the Dallas Stars.

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Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.