SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Panthers’ power play had another big night taking advantage of the New York Rangers’ struggles on special teams.
Evgenii Dadonov scored twice to lead the Panthers to a 4-3 win over the Rangers on Saturday night.
Florida went 2-for-3 on the man advantage, scoring twice in the first period for 11 goals on their last 30 power-play opportunities.
“The playmaking they make before the shot is pretty special,” said Florida coach Joel Quenneville, who won his 900th game — second all-time in the NHL. “Each and every guy has two or three different options when they do touch the puck which is tough to defend.”
Mike Hoffman and Brett Connolly also scored, and Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle each had three assists for the Panthers. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30 shots to improve to 7-4-4.
Huberdeau increased his career total to 252 assists, taking over the franchise record after coming in tied with Stephen Weiss.
“It’s nice, obviously,” said Huberdeau, who has 27 points in Florida’s 20 games. “I couldn’t do it without a lot of the guys here.”
Ryan Strome, Artemi Panarin and Tony DeAngelo scored for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 26 saves.
The two clubs played a 6-5 shootout thriller last Sunday in Madison Square Garden, and Saturday’s match started out fast with four goals in the first 8:47.
Hoffman and Dadonov netted goals at 2:05 and 6:50, respectively, giving the Panthers markers on the man advantage in nine straight games.
After going just 3-for-8 on the penalty kill in a 9-3 loss against Tampa Bay on Thursday, the Rangers were able to kill off just one — an abbreviated 32-second one by Florida.
Rangers coach David Quinn benched his two offenders in the first period — Pavel Buchnevich and Micheal Haley.
“That’s going to happen over and over again if you take a lazy penalty,” Quinn said. “I should’ve done that 16 games ago. … We take two stupid penalties to start the game, and they capitalize on it. We’ve given up seven (power-play) goals in two games and (19) on the year.”
New York also failed to score on its three power plays.
Still, the Rangers tied the second meeting between the teams both times, first with Strome’s sixth goal at 2:39 and Panarin’s ninth at 8:47.
Panarin’s assist on a quick pass to DeAngelo led to his sixth goal and the Rangers’ first lead at 5:47 of the second, but Connolly’s snipe at 7:51, his seventh tally, tied it 3-3.
Florida carried the final 4-3 margin into the third after Dadonov got his 10th goal from the right circle off a cross-ice pass from Yandle with 2:16 left in the second.
“I got over late and my skate hit the post. There must have been a hole there between the pad and the post,” Lundqvist said of the game-winning goal. “If I’d have had more time, I’d probably have come across and been outside the post, but I was late.”
Standout goaltending by Bobrovsky helped kill off a power play with 4:29 remaining to prevent Florida from losing its second straight regulation game for the first time this season.
NOTES: Quinn coached his 100th NHL game. … New York scratched C Mika Zibanejad, RW Kaapo Kakko and D Marc Staal. … Panarin has an 11-game point streak (five goals, 12 assists). … The Panthers held “Hockey Fights Cancer Night,” an annual event. Said Florida’s Brian Boyle, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2017: “It’s a great initiative. The amount of good it’s done is an awesome thing. I’m a beneficiary of that research and money.” … The former Rangers forward, who played for New York from 2009-14, scored his first career hat trick on Nov. 5, 2018, while playing for the New Jersey Devils in their “Hockey Fights Cancer Night” — just two weeks after Boyle learned his form of bone marrow cancer was in full remission. … Florida scratched C Jayce Hawryluk and D MacKenzie Weegar.
Rangers: Host Washington on Wednesday night.
Panthers: Host Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
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