Malgin’s late goal lifts Panthers to 5-4 win over Rangers
NEW YORK (AP) — Denis Malgin helped the Florida Panthers avoid a bad loss and get consecutive wins for just the third time this season.
Malgin scored with 1:09 left and the Florida Panthers recovered after giving up two three-goal leads to beat the New York Rangers 5-4 Tuesday night.
Malgin — called up on Monday and playing in his seventh game for Florida this season — beat Rangers goalie Ondrej Pavelec from the inside edge of the left circle for his first of the season.
“I think he went down and it was his fourth game in five days,” said the Panthers’ Jonathan Huberdeau, who had a goal and an assist. “Then he comes up and scores the winning goal. That’s pretty impressive.”
Aleksander Barkov, Jamie McGinn and Micheal Haley also scored — all in the first period when Florida built a 3-0 lead — to help the Panthers win for the third time in four games. James Reimer finished with 33 saves.
“We found a way against a team that probably dominated us for the most part,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. “It’s a nice feeling when you can find ways to win those games.”
Chris Kreider had two goals and an assist, Pavel Buchnevich added a goal and two assists, and J.T. Miller also scored for the Rangers, who snapped an eight-game winning streak at home and lost for just the third time in their last 13 games overall. David Desharnais had three assist to help New York tie it after trailing 3-0 and 4-1.
Rangers starter Henrik Lundqvist gave up three goals on six shots before he was pulled late in the first period. Pavelec came on and stopped 19 of the 21 shots he faced.
“I wasn’t able to come up with one extra save,” Pavelec said. “It’s disappointing because we battled back. ... We were all over them and we were working hard to get back.”
New York was playing without defenseman and captain Ryan McDonagh for the fourth straight game, and leading-scorer Mika Zibanejad was a late scratch due to an upper body injury.
With Florida leading 4-3, Reimer denied a backhand attempt by Jimmy Vesey about 5 1/2 minutes into the third and Boo Nieves couldn’t convert on a pass in front. Rick Nash then hit a post about 9 minutes in.
“Obviously, that’s a really good team over there and they come in waves,” Reimer said. “It was just a great character win from our guys tonight.”
Kreider then tied it with his second goal of the game and 10th of the season with 6:32 remaining as he got a pass from Desharnais from the right side of the net and poked it past Reimer.
Miller pulled the Rangers to 3-1 at 4:04 of the second. Mats Zuccarello’s initial shot from the left side deflected off a Panthers defenseman’s stick and Miller fired it past Reimer for his fourth.
Huberdeau restored the Panthers’ three-goal lead about 4 1/2 minutes later as he beat Pavelec after a scramble in front.
The Rangers then scored twice in a 1:50 span to pull within one. First, Kreider came from behind the net on the right side and passed it in front to Buchnevich, who tapped it past Reimer from the left side for his ninth at 9:26. Buchnevich then sent a pass from the right side to a streaking Kreider in front and he beat Reimer for his ninth with 8:44 remaining in the middle period.
Kevin Hayes appeared to tie it with 4:11 to go in the second, but the officials waved off the goal for goaltender interference due to incidental contact by Nash on Reimer. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault challenged the interference call, but it stood after a video review.
“I think that we might have gotten a little bit of a break there,” Boughner said. “There was initial contact before the incidental contact, and I think that’s what they were concentrating on more than anything.”
Barkov got Florida on the scoreboard on a deflection of a shot by Huberdeau during a power play 5:50 into the game. It was his eighth and came on the Panthers’ first shot on goal.
McGinn doubled Florida’s lead at 9:34, firing a shot from outside the left circle past Lundqvist.
Haley made it 3-0 with 3:13 left from the left circle for his first of the season. Lundqvist, who started for the 13th straight game, was then pulled in favor of Pavelec.
NOTES: Kreider now has 99 goals and 99 assists in his career. ... New York won the first meeting, 5-4 in OT at Florida on Nov. 4. The teams will conclude the season series March 10 at Florida. ... Panthers D Keith Yandle played in his 658th consecutive game, moving 21 behind Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin for seventh place in NHL history. Yandle had two assists against his former team, giving him two goals and six assists in 13 games this month. ... After appearing in nine of the Panthers’ first 12 games, Reimer was playing for just the third time in 12 game since Nov. 2.
Panthers: Host San Jose on Friday night to open a stretch of four of five at home.
Rangers: Host Carolina on Friday night to close a four-game homestand.