Stepan leads Rangers past PanthersDec 12, 2011 - 4:35 AM
Steve Eminger and Marian Gaborik also scored in the second period while Brad Richards and Artem Anisimov had power play goals in the first for the Rangers, who improved to 7-1-1 in their last nine games.
Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves for the win. Jose Theodore started for Florida, but came out after giving up six goals on 22 shots in the first two periods.
"We got a good start, and obviously in the second period ... we caught a team that was probably a little tired and capitalized," said Richards.
Erik Gudbranson scored his first NHL goal for the Panthers in the first period and Scott Clemmensen made 11 saves in the third.
Florida went 1-1-1 on a three-game road trip and is headed home for four in a row after its most lopsided loss of the season.
"Any time you get a tail-kicking like that you always hear things from coaches like 'the will to compete.' Obviously, their 'want' was higher than ours," said Panthers coach Kevin Dineen.
"That's an old-fashioned tail-kicking for sure."
It started with two power play goals in a less than six-minute span. Richards faked a slap shot from the left circle and skated closer to beat Theodore at 11:40, while Anisimov scored on a rebound at 17:27.
Gudbranson cut the New York lead in half just 40 seconds later, scoring on a slap shot from the point as the Madison Square Garden announcer was reading Anisimov's goal.
Stepan's first goal came on what was basically a 1-on-4 -- he stickhandled in between two of the Panthers -- and Eminger was in the right place for a loose puck, scoring with a slap shot from above the right circle.
Gaborik scored on a backhand off a rebound in front and Stepan's second goal from the slot made it 6-1 with 2:12 remaining in the second period.
The Rangers are 14-3-1 in their last 18 games since Halloween. They snapped a two-game losing streak at MSG (0-1-1) and improved to 8-2-2 on home ice this year.
- FLORIDA: 1
NEW YORK: 6
Dec 11 9:53 PM
- FLORIDA: 1
NEW YORK: 6
End of 2nd
Dec 11 9:06 PM
- NY Rangers Goal - Derek Stepan (7), at 17:48.
Panthers 1, Rangers 6 2nd - 2:12Dec 11 9:03 PM
- NY Rangers Goal - Marian Gaborik (15), at 16:53.
Panthers 1, Rangers 5 2nd - 3:07Dec 11 9:02 PM
- Erik Christensen shot blocked by Mike Weaver.
Panthers 1, Rangers 4 2nd - 9:01Dec 11 8:52 PM
- John Mitchell shot blocked by Tomas Kopecky.
Panthers 1, Rangers 3 2nd - 9:17Dec 11 8:49 PM
- NY Rangers Goal - Steve Eminger (2), at 10:43.
Panthers 1, Rangers 4 2nd - 9:17Dec 11 8:49 PM
- NY Rangers Short-Handed Goal - Derek Stepan (6), at 5:45.
Panthers 1, Rangers 3 2nd - 14:15Dec 11 8:37 PM
- FLORIDA: 1
NEW YORK: 2
End of 1st
Dec 11 8:14 PM
- Florida Goal - Erik Gudbranson, at 18:07.
Panthers 1, Rangers 2 1st - 1:53Dec 11 8:10 PM
- NY Rangers Power-Play Goal - Artem Anisimov (6), at 17:27.
Panthers 0, Rangers 2 1st - 2:33Dec 11 8:09 PM
- NY Rangers Power-Play Goal - Brad Richards (11), at 11:40.
Panthers 0, Rangers 1 1st - 8:20Dec 11 7:59 PM
- FLORIDA: 0
NEW YORK: 0
1st Period - 20:00
Dec 11 7:38 PM
- Major League Baseball suspends Rangers' Odor for 8 games and Andrus for 1 game, and Blue Jays' Chavez and Gibbons for 3 each and Bautista, Leiper for 1 apiece for role in brawl May 17
- Panthers make Tallon president, Rowe GM May 16
- New York Rangers sign KHL forward Pavel Bucknevich May 13
- Florida Panthers, Erik Gudbranson agree on 1-year deal May 9
- Capitals are loose and confident and on brink of elimination May 6
- New York Rangers rookie Oscar Lindberg has hip surgery May 6
- Trotz, Ruff, Gallant are Jack Adams Award finalists May 5
- Jaromir Jagr returning to Florida Panthers on 1-year deal May 5
- Calgary fires Bob Hartley, a season after coach of the year May 3
- Rangers agree to deal with backup goalie Antti Raanta May 2
- Jagr, Dupuis, Zuccarello are Masterton finalists May 1
- Barkov, Eriksson, Kopitar are Lady Byng finalists Apr 30