NHL

NHL: Panthers win showdown with Rangers

By Sports Desk March 05, 2024

Sam Reinhart scored two goals and Ryan Lomberg recorded the game-winner in the third period as the Florida Panthers stayed hot with a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers in Monday's showdown between division leaders.

Anton Lundell sealed Florida's fifth consecutive win and 11th in 12 games with an empty-net goal in the final minute, while Aleksander Barkov and Gustav Forsling had two assists in support of Sergei Bobrovsky's 26-save effort.

The win maintained the Panthers' two-point advantage on the Boston Bruins for first place in both the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division, with the Metropolitan-leading Rangers now four points back of Florida.

After the Rangers tied the game at 2-2 on Chris Kreider's power-play goal late in the second period, the Panthers outshot New York by a 12-6 margin while dominating the third.

Lomberg snapped the deadlock 6:11 into the period when his wrist shot got past New York goaltender Igor Shesterkin, and Lundell put the game out of reach by scoring with 59 seconds remaining.

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead after one period on Will Cuylle's power-play goal, but Reinhart registered his 43rd and 44th goals of the season within a span of 2:45 in the second to put Florida ahead. His first of the night was his league-leading 25th in power-play situations.

Shesterkin stopped 25 of 28 shots for New York, which has now lost three of four following a franchise-record 10-game winning streak from Jan. 27-Feb. 24.

MacKinnon extends home point streak as Avalanche blank Blackhawks

Nathan MacKinnon increased his home point streak to 30 games with a two-goal, two-assist performance that helped the Colorado Avalanche cruise to a 5-0 rout over the badly struggling Chicago Blackhawks.

Justus Annunen stopped 37 shots to record his second shutout of Chicago in five days and send the Blackhawks to a seventh straight loss. The rookie netminder had 24 saves in Colorado's 5-0 win at Chicago on Thursday.

MacKinnon gave Annunen all the help he would need by blasting a shot past Chicago goaltender Petr Mrazek 12:31 in. The Colorado captain's home point streak is the second-longest to start a season in NHL history behind Wayne Gretzky's 40-game run with the Los Angeles Kings in 1988-89.

MacKinnon then set up Jonathan Drouin's goal later in the first period before adding another assist on Cale Makar's score with 7:22 left in the second that extended the Avs' lead to 3-0.

Zach Parise made it 4-0 when he redirected a drive from Caleb Jones five minutes after Makar's goal, and MacKinnon capped his four-point night with a power-play tally with 4:25 remaining. 

Mrazek finished with 32 saves in Chicago's ninth shutout loss of the season, tied with the San Jose Sharks for the most in the NHL.

Zacha's two goals lead Bruins past Maple Leafs

The Boston Bruins were able to keep pace with the Panthers in the Eastern Conference race by delivering a 4-1 win over the rival Toronto Maple Leafs behind Pavel Zacha's two goals and 32 saves from Jeremy Swayman.

Jake DeBrusk chipped in a goal and an assist and David Pastrnak had three assists to help the Bruins win for the second time in three outings following a three-game losing streak.

Morgan Geekie added a goal that put Boston ahead midway through the first period, and Zacha made it 2-0 by converting a power-play chance just under three minutes later.

Swayman came up with 13 saves during a second period in which DeBrusk produced the only goal, though Toronto's John Tavares scored for a second straight game to end the shutout bid 3:52 into the third.

Zacha completed his first multi-goal outing of the season by knocking in a feed from Pastrnak with 9:25 remaining.

Toronto, which had won nine of 10 coming in, received 23 saves from Joseph Woll.

 

 

 

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