for this game

Jokinen, Panthers hand Rangers rare regulation loss

Mar 15, 2008 - 3:27 AM
SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- It had been quite a while since the New York Rangers lost in regulation. But it also has been some time since the Florida Panthers lost at all.

Captain Olli Jokinen snapped a tie at 7:12 of the third period and the Panthers held on to extend their season-high winning streak to six games with a 3-2 triumph over the Rangers on Friday.

Rostislav Olesz and defenseman Jassen Cullimore also scored and All-Star Tomas Vokoun made 32 saves for Florida (34-31-8), which moved within three points of idle Philadelphia (35-27-9) for the eighth and final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference.

"It's more fun around here lately," Vokoun said. "It's a good feeling, but it's a long road ahead of us. We put ourselves in a bad position. We have our backs against the wall, so we have to perform every night. We just have to hope it's going to be enough."

"It was a good game for us," Jokinen added. "No matter what, it was a playoff game for us, and it's good to see the crowd was into it. The most important thing is, we got the win."

Blue-liner Dan Girardi and Scott Gomez tallied for New York, which had gone 10-0-3 since its last regulation loss - a 4-1 setback at home to Anaheim on February 7.

"I think the streak was secondary," Gomez said. "We know the position we're in. ... We're still battling for a playoff spot."

With the game tied at 2-2 and New York's Martin Straka serving a hooking penalty, Henrik Lundqvist made a save on defenseman Steve Montador. But Jokinen, who was standing on the doorstep, dug the puck out from between the goaltender's legs and tucked it around him for his 31st goal of the season and a 3-2 edge.

"It was a good play by (Brett) McLean, he passed to Montador," said Jokinen, who scored for just the second time since he accidentally cut teammate Richard Zednik's neck with his skate on February 10. "Finally, we get the shot through on the power play. I got a couple of whacks and was able to put it in."

"There were a couple rebounds there and they finally got it in," Lundqvist said. "I picked up (the initial shot) late and kind of reacted late to it. We got stuck with a rebound there and they just kept banging. It was just under my pad."

Thanks to Vokoun, who made 12 saves in the third, the Panthers held on despite being forced to extinguish a pair of power plays late in the period.

"Our penalty-killers were awesome tonight," Florida's Stephen Weiss said. "They did a great job. (The Rangers) have a good power play, they have a lot of guys who can hurt us. The last minute, with a two-man advantage, it was huge. (Vokoun) was obviously our best penalty-killer."

"Our power play has got to generate more than it did tonight," said New York coach Tom Renney, whose team went 1-for-6 with the man advantage. "We're very disappointed, considering we had a couple opportunities at the end. It would have been a big emotional lift to find a way against a very hot team."

Olesz opened the scoring at 12:49 of the first, beating Lundqvist high to the glove side from the slot after receiving a pass from behind the net by McLean.

The Rangers pulled even less than three minutes later, however, as Girardi's wrist shot from above the slot found its way past a screened Vokoun with 4:45 remaining in the period.

A double-minor to Montador at the end of the first led to New York's second goal just 28 seconds into the middle session. During the 5-on-3, Gomez pounced on a rebound at the right side of the net and buried it after Vokoun made the save on a one-timer from above the slot. Playing in his 700th career game, Cullimore forged a 2-2 tie at 11:42 with a slap shot from the left point.

McLean collected a pair of assists for the Panthers, who improved to 4-0-0 on their season-high seven-game homestand. Florida is one victory shy of the longest winning streak in franchise history, set from November 2-14, 1995 and equaled from March 17-29, 2006.

"I wish we could have played that way the past 70 games," Jokinen said. "We've been climbing up in the standings, and we want to keep doing that. ... I think our best games are still ahead."

Sean Avery set up both goals for New York (37-25-9), which remained five points behind idle New Jersey (41-24-6) for first place in both the Atlantic Division and the conference.

"This time of year, it's right back on the horse," said Gomez, whose club visits Tampa Bay on Saturday. "Everyone's battling for a playoff position and no one's going to feel sorry for you. We'll go tomorrow. We wanted to get two points out of the Florida trip, and we can still do that."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 1 1 0 2
    FLORIDA 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 13 (BRETT MCLEAN, JASSEN CULLIMORE)
    12:49
    NYR - DAN GIRARDI 9 (BRANDON DUBINSKY, SEAN AVERY) 15:15
    2ND PRD: NYR - (PP) SCOTT GOMEZ 16 (SEAN AVERY, BRENDAN SHANAHAN)
    0:28
    FLA - JASSEN CULLIMORE

    Mar 14 10:02 PM
  • 22
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers 2, Panthers 3  3rd - 1:23Mar 14 9:57 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 2
    FLORIDA 3
    3RD PRD: FLA - (PP) OLLI JOKINEN 31 (STEVE MONTADOR, BRETT MCLEAN)
    7:12

    Rangers 2, Panthers 3  3rd - 12:48Mar 14 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 1 1 2
    FLORIDA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 13 (BRETT MCLEAN, JASSEN CULLIMORE)
    12:49
    NYR - DAN GIRARDI 9 (BRANDON DUBINSKY, SEAN AVERY) 15:15
    2ND PRD: NYR - (PP) SCOTT GOMEZ 16 (BRENDAN SHANAHAN, JAROMIR JAGR)
    0:28
    FLA - JA

    Mar 14 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 2
    FLORIDA 2
    2ND PRD: FLA - JASSEN CULLIMORE 3 (VILLE PELTONEN, MAGNUS JOHANSSON)
    11:52

    Rangers 2, Panthers 2  2nd - 8:08Mar 14 8:55 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 2
    FLORIDA 1
    2ND PRD: NYR - (PP) SCOTT GOMEZ 16 (BRENDAN SHANAHAN, JAROMIR JAGR)
    0:28

    Rangers 2, Panthers 1  2nd - 19:32Mar 14 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY RANGERS 1 1
    FLORIDA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 13 (BRETT MCLEAN, JASSEN CULLIMORE)
    12:49
    NYR - DAN GIRARDI 9 (BRANDON DUBINSKY) 15:15
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYR 11 11
    FLA

    Mar 14 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 1
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: NYR - DAN GIRARDI 9 (BRANDON DUBINSKY) 15:15

    Rangers 1, Panthers 1  1st - 4:45Mar 14 8:09 PM


  • NHL
    NY RANGERS 0
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: FLA - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 13 (BRETT MCLEAN, JASSEN CULLIMORE)
    12:49

    Rangers 0, Panthers 1  1st - 7:11Mar 14 8:01 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Nuno Added 5 roots

    Rangers vs. PanthersMar 14 10:49 AM