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Rangers Scorch Struggling Panthers, 5-2

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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Henrik Lundqvist made 43 saves to earn his 30th win of the season and lead the New York Rangers over the Florida Panthers 5-2 on Tuesday night.

Nick Holden, Kevin Hayes, and Chris Kreider scored goals for the Rangers. Tanner Glass had a goal and an assist. Pavel Buchnevich added an empty-net goal.

Aaron Ekblad and Thomas Vanek scored for the Panthers and James Reimer allowed four goals on 19 shots before being replaced by Reto Berra with 6:46 left in the second. Berra, seeing his first NHL action since Dec. 9. 2015, stopped eight shots.

[graphiq id=”fIlqvP6TQGx” title=”Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers on March 7, 2017 7:30pm EST” width=”600″ height=”844″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/fIlqvP6TQGx” link=”http://nhl-scores.pointafter.com/l/3932/Florida-Panthers-vs-New-York-Rangers-on-03-07-17″ link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

New York won its fifth straight road game and is 24-8-0 on the road while Florida has won just once in its past six home games.

Lundqvist is the only goalie in NHL history to record at least 30 wins in 11 of his first 12 seasons. Lundqvist joins Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy as the only goalies to earn 30 or more wins in 10 seasons.

Leading 2-0, the Rangers went ahead 3-0 after Hayes backhanded the puck past Reimer on a breakaway at 4:06 of the second.

The Panthers closed to 3-1 on Vanek’s goal at 11:20 of the second. Vanek’s shot from the slot beat Lundqvist for his first goal as a Panther. Vanek was acquired from the Detroit Red Wings last week at the trade deadline.

Holden made the score 4-1 when his shot from the high slot beat Reimer on the stick side at 13:14 of the second.

Ekblad’s power-play goal with 3:26 left in the third made the score 4-2 before Buchnevich’s empty-net goal with 1:45 left.

Kreider gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 9:25 of the first. Kreider redirected a shot from the right circle by former Panther Steven Kampfer into the net from in front for his 25th goal of the season.

The Rangers stretched their lead to 2-0 when Glass knocked in a rebound under Reimer’s pads with 7:00 left in the first. Glass played his second game of the season since being recalled on Monday from AHL Hartford. The goal was his first since March 21, 2016, also against Florida.

Notes: Former Panthers captain Olli Jokinen retired as a member of Florida’s organization on Tuesday. He played for the Panthers from 2000 to 2008 and is the franchise’s leader in goals (188) and points (419). “I’m honored and humbled that that the Panthers were willing to do this,” Jokinen said. “When I got traded from here in 2008, I had it in the back of my head that I wanted to come back to Florida and play my last year in Florida. Obviously, it didn’t happen, but it ended up happening this way. It’s been a great day. I’m finally officially leaving the game behind as a player.” … Rangers forward Michael Grabner missed his fourth game with a lower-body injury. … Defenseman Adam Clendening and forward Matt Puempel were each a healthy scratch for the second straight game.

UP NEXT:

Rangers: Visits the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday

Panthers: Hosts the Minnesota Wild on Friday

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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