NEW YORK (CBSMiami/AP) — Another season, another slow start for the Florida Panthers.
Mats Zuccarello and Mika Zibanejad each scored twice and the New York Rangers snapped a two-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Panthers on Tuesday night.
Kevin Hayes also scored, Neal Pionk added two assists and Alexandar Georgiev made 36 saves for New York, which collected its third win of the young season.
Vincent Trocheck and Mike Hoffman each scored their third goals of the season, and Jonathan Huberdeau had two assists for the Panthers, who fell to 1-3-3 despite holding the lead in each game.
Georgiev earned his first win of the season in his second appearance. The Russian netminder earned the backup job with an impressive 11-game run at the finish of the 2017-18 season.
Michael Hutchinson stopped 15 shots in his fourth game for Florida.
The Rangers benefited from strong special teams play, registering two power-play goals and a short-handed goal.
The Panthers outshot the Rangers 14-5 in the opening period and took a 1-0 lead when Trocheck’s shot sailed past Georgiev at 18:15 of the first. Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov picked up the helpers while captain Aleksander Barkov screened the goaltender.
The Rangers stormed back with three unanswered goals in the second. Zibanejad scored his first of the game with a pretty wraparound while New York was short-handed due to a too many men on the ice penalty at 3:10. Adam McQuaid picked up the assist.
Zuccarello benefited from a fortuitous bounce as his shot deflected off Panthers defenseman Michael Matheson’s legs and into the goal at 11:36. Neal Pionk registered the first of his two assists on the goal and extended his points streak to three games.
At 16:08 of the second period, Zibanejad struck again with a wrist shot that beat Hutchinson on the short side, giving New York a 3-1 advantage. Zibanejad became the first Rangers player to record a short-handed and power-play goal in the same period since Brandon Dubinsky in April 2009. Pionk and Chris Kreider assisted on the play.
Zuccarello recorded his second of the game and season at 1:27 of the third period. Zibanejad picked up his second assist and fourth point of the game.
James Reimer replaced Hutchinson after the Rangers’ fourth goal early in the third period. Panthers starting goaltender Roberto Luongo has been sidelined since opening night with a knee injury.
Hoffman scored his third of the season with wraparound at 10:37 of the third. Hayes added an empty-netter in the final minute after Jesper Fast negated an icing to set up the goal.
The Panthers will finish off their road trip with games against the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils before heading to Helsinki, Finland, to take on the Winnipeg Jets for two games as part of the NHL Global series.
NOTES: Rangers defenseman Frederik Claesson will be out the next two to three weeks with an upper-body injury. . Marc Staal skated in his 770th career game as a Ranger and is two games away from tying Adam Graves for 10th place on the team’s all-time games played list. . Defenseman Tony DeAngelo was a healthy scratch for the seventh time in New York’s first nine games. . Keith Yandle skated in his 722nd consecutive NHL game and has the longest active iron man streak in the league. Yandle currently trails Jay Bouwmeester by 15 games for the sixth-longest streak.
Rangers: Visit the Blackhawks on Thursday.
Panthers: Visit the Islanders on Wednesday.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)