Artemi Panarin scores twice in regulation, Rangers beat Panthers 4-3 in shootout

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Artemi Panarin scores twice in regulation, Rangers beat Panthers 4-3 in shootout

NEW YORK (AP) — Artemi Panarin scored twice in regulation and added the decisive goal in the shootout, Igor Shesterkin made 27 saves and the New York Rangers rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Saturday night.

Carter Verhaeghe put the Panthers ahead 3-2 with his 31st goal at 15:52 of the third but Panarin knotted the contest at 16:35 with his second of the game and team-leading 43rd of the season. He has five goals in his last two games.

Matthew Tkachuk and Eetu Luostarinen also scored for the Panthers, who lost their fourth straight game.

Adam Fox also scored for the Rangers and Vincent Trocheck had three assists.

“It was a good effort by us,” said Fox, who extended his points streak to seven games. ”The crowd got into it. It was a big win … They are a good team, on top of the league for a reason.”

During the shootout, Panarin beat Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky with a high shot. Mika Zibanejad also scored for the Rangers and Sam Reinhart scored for Florida. Shesterkin denied former Ranger Vladimir Tarasenko to cement the victory for the Rangers, who moved ahead of the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins lost to Philadelphia 3-2 on Saturday.

It was the first time in three games this season the Rangers beat the Panthers, who are battling the Bruins for the Atlantic Division lead.

“They are a good team, hard to play against,” Panarin said. “Last few games have been great for us. We’re playing consistently.”

Bobrovsky finished with 34 saves including four in overtime.

“This game was good. We played hard,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said. ”Sergei made a couple of big saves. We were anchored right. Our leadership was fantastic.”

The Rangers have won six of their last nine games against the Panthers and are 6-1-1 in their last eight home games against Florida. New York improved to 25-9-0 overall at home this season and is 19-5-2 in its last 26 games.

Shesterkin also made four saves in overtime and improved to 10-3-1 in his last 14 games. He also reached the 30-win mark for the third straight season.

“It was a great game. It came down to a shootout,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said. ”It’s always good to get that extra point.”

Tkachuk opened the scoring at 8:18 of the first, tipping Josh Mahura‘s shot past Shesterkin. Luostarinen made it 2-0 just 21 seconds into the second on a setup by Reinhart, who leads the Panthers with 80 points.

Fox narrowed the deficit on the power play at 6:22 of the second before Panarin scored at 8:23 of the middle period from a sharp angle to tie the game at 2.

Panarin had a hat trick in Thursday’s 5-2 win at Boston and has 99 points this season. The 32-year-old Russian forward is trying to become the first Ranger to reach 100 points since Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06 and the seventh to reach the milestone.

“He had another monster game,” Laviolette said. ”He gives his all every shift.”

Rangers rookie forward Matt Rempe played his first home game since March 11, when he was tossed from a 3-1 win over New Jersey after a high elbow on Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler. Rempe was suspended four games by the league for the hit.

Florida captain Aleksander Barkov missed the contest as did defensemen Aaron Ekblad, Gustav Forsling and Dmitry Kulikov.

“I look at it from a regulation point of view because there is no three-on-three or shootout in the playoffs,” Maurice said. “We came in on the road banged up, and I wouldn’t say riding a whole lot of confidence. And we were pretty good tonight. I’m pretty happy.”

UP NEXT

Rangers: Hosting Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.

Panthers: Visiting Philadelphia on Sunday night

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