Late goal pushes Panthers past Rangers
NEW YORK -- The Florida Panthers squandered a three-goal lead, but Denis Malgin's goal with 1:09 remaining proved to be the difference in the Panthers' 5-4 victory against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers (13-10-2) had their four-game overall winning streak and eight-game home winning streak snapped.
Aleksander Barkov, Jamie McGinn and Micheal Haley staked the Panthers (10-12-2) to a 3-0 lead in the first period. Jonathan Huburdeau had the Panthers' fourth goal.
James Reimer earned the win by making 33 saves.
Chris Kreider recorded two goals and an assist, Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and two assists, and David Desharnais had three assists for New York. J.T. Miller had the Rangers' other goal.
Ondrej Pavelec took the loss in relief despite stopping 19 of 21 shots after replacing Henrik Lundqvist during the first period.
Barkov and McGinn scored less than four minutes apart earlier in the period to begin the onslaught. Barkov deflected a shot by Huberdeau for a power-play goal that made it 1-0 at 5:50, then McGinn snapped a wrist shot past Lundqvist from the left faceoff circle at 9:35 to increase the lead to 2-0.
Lundqvist's 13th consecutive start came to an end with 3:13 to play in the first period when Haley scored his first goal since Feb. 18 and sixth of his 154-game career. He beat Lundqvist to the blocker side after the Rangers' defense offered little resistance in the slot area. Lundqvist stopped just half of the six shots he faced.
Miller swept a puck under Reimer at 4:54 of the second period to bring the Rangers within 3-1, but an unchecked Huberdeau lifted a puck over a fallen Pavelec following an odd-man rush to push the Panthers to a 4-1 lead at 8:36.
Buchnevich's ninth goal 50 seconds later made it 4-2. With a delayed penalty against the Panthers, Kreider fed Buchnevich with a pass on the doorstep for the backdoor tap-in goal.
Buchnevich returned the favor 1:50 later, setting up Kreider fo with a cross-ice pass off a rush to trim the lead to 4-3.
Kreider's second goal of the night and 10th of the season completed the comeback. Kreider scored from the top of the crease off a feed from Desharnais to make it 4-4 with 6:32 remaining in regulation.
NOTES: Rangers C Mika Zibanejad (upper body) did not play after practicing in the morning and taking pregame warmups. ... Rangers D Ryan McDonagh (abdomen) missed his fourth consecutive game but could be ready to return for the team's next game Friday at home against the Carolina Hurricanes. ... The Rangers played their league-high 17th home game. ... Florida returns home to face the San Jose Sharks on Friday.