Rangers rout Panthers in continued playoff pursuit

 

The Rangers’ special teams have not been special this season. But at the time of year in which wins and losses are most vital, it was those units that led the way.

The Rangers wake up Friday morning still in the eighth spot after the specialty units were strong in a 6-1 rout of the Panthers Thursday night at the Garden.

“The special teams played really well,” goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said.

Derick Brassard and Rick Nash gave the Rangers all the offense they would need in the first period as the duo scored two power-play goals in a six-minute span of first period. The Rangers finished 2-for-4 on the power play and penalty kill units eliminated Florida’s only man-advantage opportunity. The Rangers’ penalty killers are 21-for-23 in the last nine games

“You want to get your power play going. I think it’s a reason why we lose, because of our power play. It’s good. [We] made some good plays. To score quick power play goals to get started was important to us,” head coach John Tortorella said.

“The penalty killing has been good. In the last six or seven games [it] has give us a chance to stay in the game when our power play is not working that well.”

Nash finished with three points, and Brassard, Ryan Callahan, Brad Richards and Mats Zuccarello had two points. Eleven Rangers were plus-1 or better and ten players recorded at least one point. Lundqvist made 34 saves to win his 20th game of the season.

“I don’t give a crap who contributes,” Tortorella said. “It doesn’t matter to me. I don’t give a crap whether [it is new], old, veteran, rookie as long as we get contributions from everybody. That’s the only way we’re going to find a way. We have to keep on finding people to contribute.”

Even with the win, the Rangers remain as the No. 8 seed. They entered the game three points behind the seventh-seeded Islanders, who beat Toronto 5-3. The Rangers are in Buffalo, which they lead by four points, Friday night. Winnipeg, who beat Carolina 4-3 in overtime, trail the Rangers by two points.

But as they noted, the Rangers are in the enviable position of not needing help to reach the playoffs.

“It’s very important,” Richards said. “It’s all you can really ask for when you put yourself in [the] situation [that the Rangers are in]. The main thing you can ask for is that it’s in our hand. We can do what we need to do and it will be on us if something doesn’t happen. We plan on being in there and moving up. We just have to get in.”

Jonathan Huberdeau’s 14th goal of the season was Florida’s only score. Scott Clemmensen allowed all six goals on 30 shots.

“I felt that if we were going to give ourselves a chance to win this game from three goals back we had to push extremely hard. The game finished ugly and that’s the nature of it,” Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. “That’s what we are going to see every time against these guys. They’re Cookie Monsters that are certainly out there and hungry at the end of the game.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

Future Boston Alliance invites you to #RidetheLine, support…

#RidetheLine aims to show the city, the nation, and the globe our creative impact as Boston citizens.

Local

(Update) Body of missing BU grad Eric Munsell…

The dead man pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon was that of missing 24-year-old Boston University alumnus Eric Munsell, Boston Police said today.

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

Arts

'Becoming Cuba' at Huntington is a bit short…

Playwright Melinda Lopez freely lampoons the English language for its lack of passion in her latest work, “Becoming Cuba.” Ironically, the Huntington Theatre Company’s playwright-in-residence…

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

NFL

Patriot’s schedule comes up fair

Those looking for built-in excuses for the Patriots 2014-2015 season will have to look elsewhere, because their schedule came up fair. For the fourth straight…

MLB

Nava demoted, Victorino return imminent

  Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who was batting a team-low .149/.240/.269, was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday. "His struggles at the plate, I…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.