for this game

Garrison, Panthers edge Rangers

Nov 24, 2011 - 4:38 AM
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Can you name the top goal-scorer among defenseman in the NHL? Not many people would guess Jason Garrison.

Garrison potted his eighth goal of the season and the Southeast Division- leading Florida Panthers edged the New York Rangers, 2-1, on Wednesday night.

Kris Versteeg also lit the lamp for the Panthers, who got 19 saves from Jose Theodore.

Florida has won three straight games -- all at home, all by one goal and all in regulation.

Derek Stepan had the lone Ranger tally, while Henrik Lundqvist was stellar in defeat, finishing with 36 saves.

New York has dropped two straight on the heels of a seven-game win streak.

"We know we have to play better," Lundqvist said. "It's going to be another couple of tough games here the rest of the week, so we have to improve and be better in all areas."

Garrison opened the scoring on a power play at the 10:06 mark of the first period. The 27-year-old entered the season with seven goals in 113 career games. It took him just 21 more games to surpass that total.

"I probably got to confess that sometimes I just close my eyes and shoot (the puck) as hard as I can," Garrison said. "Fortunately, they're going in for me right now."

Versteeg doubled the advantage 69 seconds into the second. Keaton Ellerby fired a shot from the point that sailed wide and caromed off the end boards. Tomas Fleischmann gathered the puck at the bottom of the right circle and stickhandled around a New York player before finding Versteeg in the middle for a successful one-timer.

Stepan beat Theodore a little over three minutes later, then the Rangers got a huge boost from their penalty-killing unit. New York forward Andre Deveaux was given a match penalty for a hit on Fleischmann at 10:59 of the middle stanza.

"(Fleischmann) was cutting in and I went to finish my check, and he kind of switched angles a little bit, and I just reacted and he went down," Deveaux said. "I haven't seen it yet, so I don't know how bad it is, but I know I did elbow him. The guy did come back so that's good."

New York did not surrender a goal during the five-minute power play, but was unable to solve Theodore a second time.

Game Notes

Florida has won three straight games in regulation for the first time since November 5-12, 2010...Versteeg has 12 goals this season. He scored a career- high 22 in 2008-09...Stepan played in his 100th career game...Florida defenseman Dmitry Kulikov missed the game with a lower-body injury. He is listed as day-to-day.