Zuccarello, Zibanejad Lift Rangers Over Panthers 5-2
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mats Zuccarello and Mika Zibanejad each scored twice and the New York Rangers snapped a two-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.
Kevin Hayes also scored, Neal Pionk added two assists, and Alexandar Georgiev made 36 saves for New York, which collected its third win of the young season.
Vincent Trocheck and Mike Hoffman each scored their third goals of the season, and Jonathan Huberdeau had two assists for the Panthers, who fell to 1-3-3 despite holding the lead in each game.
Georgiev earned his first win of the season in his second appearance. The Russian netminder earned the backup job with an impressive 11-game run at the finish of the 2017-18 season.
The Rangers benefited from strong special teams play, registering two power-play goals and a short-handed goal.
The Panthers outshot the Rangers 14-5 in the opening period and took a 1-0 lead when Trocheck's shot sailed past Georgiev at 18:15 of the first. Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov picked up the helpers while captain Aleksander Barkov screened the goaltender.
The Rangers stormed back with three unanswered goals in the second. Zibanejad scored his first of the game with a pretty wraparound while New York was short-handed due to a too many men on the ice penalty at 3:10. Adam McQuaid picked up the assist.
Zuccarello benefited from a fortuitous bounce as his shot deflected off Panthers defenseman Michael Matheson's legs and into the goal at 11:36. Neal Pionk registered the first of his two assists on the goal and extended his points streak to three games.
At 16:08 of the second period, Zibanejad struck again with a wrist shot that beat Hutchinson on the short side, giving New York a 3-1 advantage. Zibanejad became the first Rangers player to record a short-handed and power-play goal in the same period since Brandon Dubinsky in April 2009. Pionk and Chris Kreider assisted on the play.
Zuccarello recorded his second of the game and season at 1:27 of the third period. Zibanejad picked up his second assist and fourth point of the game.
Rangers defenseman Frederik Claesson will be out the next two to three weeks with an upper-body injury.
Marc Staal skated in his 770th career game as a Ranger and is two games away from tying Adam Graves for 10th place on the team's all-time games played list.
Keith Yandle skated in his 722nd consecutive NHL game and has the longest active iron man streak in the league. Yandle currently trails Jay Bouwmeester by 15 games for the sixth-longest streak.
The Rangers visit the Blackhawks on Thursday.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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