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Florida
Panthers
38-26-18
New York
Rangers
51-24-7

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game recap

Rangers 6, Panthers 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Rangers 6, Panthers 1
Florida Panthers 1, New York Rangers 6
Three Stars of the Game
Derek Stepan
1st
Derek Stepan
G: 2Shots: 4
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 3TOI: 16:31
Michael Del Zotto
2nd
Michael Del Zotto
G: 0Shots: 4
A: 1Hits: 4
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 4TOI: 23:55
Steve Eminger
3rd
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 2
+/-: 4TOI: 19:16

NEW YORK (AP) - After Derek Stepan and the New York Rangers put on one of their most impressive offensive displays of the season, all they could do was tout their defense, grit and hustle.

Stepan scored twice, including a pretty coast-to-coast goal just after the Rangers killed a penalty, and New York beat the Florida Panthers 6-1 on Sunday night for as comprehensive-looking a win as New York has enjoyed all season. It came a night after the Rangers won in Buffalo, too.

Both teams actually played three games in four nights, though the Panthers had Saturday night off. Not that it showed.

"They looked a little tired," New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "We looked really fast."

Stepan also assisted on Marian Gaborik's goal late in the second period that made it 5-1 and seemed to take what spring remained out of the Panthers. New York looked nothing like a team playing for the second night in a row, putting away the Panthers for its fourth win in six games and giving the Rangers nine out of 10 possible points in December.

"I think our defense is a big part of our offense," Stepan said. "I think the big thing is we have the puck more and we're able to make plays."

Brad Richards, Artem Anisimov and former Panthers defenseman Steve Eminger also scored for New York. Erik Gudbranson scored for Florida, which has lost two in a row following a three-game winning streak.

"Their want was higher than ours tonight," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "That was a good, old-fashioned tail-kicking right there. But that's hockey. You give some and you take some."

Florida went down 2-0 early after Richards and Anisimov scored power-play goals, but the Panthers replied 30 seconds after Anisimov shoveled home Erik Christensen's rebound off the post. Gudbranson scored on a slap shot from just inside the blue line with 1:53 left in the first.

Stepan's first goal came 5:45 after the first intermission. He darted down the right side and fired a wrist shot past Jose Theodore that made it 3-1 just after the Panthers failed to tie it while New York enforcer Brandon Prust was off for high-sticking.

On the faceoff after Eminger made it 4-1, Florida's Krystofer Barch squared off with Prust. Barch got in a good shot early, helped Prust keep his feet three times as they traded blows, then Prust went down on top of him next to the boards and both were sent to the box.

The Rangers soon followed with two more goals, getting their fifth when Gaborik reached over to knock home a short rebound and their sixth when Stepan buried a long rebound with 2:12 left in the period. Florida coach Kevin Dineen didn't bother sending backup Scott Clemmensen in until the third period started. Theodore finished with 16 saves on 22 shots.

Christensen mostly had a quiet night after being put in the lineup in favor of the popular Sean Avery, though his assist easily could have gone down as a missed opportunity. All alone and close in during a first-period power play, Christensen beat Theodore, but the puck bounced off the post straight to Anisimov, who shoveled it in for his sixth goal of the season.

Lundqvist stopped 20 of 21 shots a night after Martin Biron started for the Rangers in a 4-1 victory in Buffalo. Lundqvist rarely was seriously tested. Not the way the Rangers hustled on defense and special teams all night, despite leaden legs. The Panthers came up dry on all seven of their power-play chances.

"It was just one of those games. Some of their goals were bounces, some were mistakes. It just seemed like we were not all on the same page," Gudbranson said. "Glad I was able to score, and it was a big goal at the time, but really, all that matters tonight is how we played overall, and how we respond to it. What happened, happened, it's on us now to make something good out of it. This is about us, as a team, and how we react to it."

NOTES: Florida gave up a season-worst six goals. The Panthers lost 5-1 to Tampa Bay on Nov. 16. ... Rangers coach John Tortorella acknowledged that he wasn't blaming Avery for being ineffective in the few minutes per game the winger has been getting. "I'm just having problems finding ice for him," Tortorella said. "It's difficult to play that way." He also said he liked Christensen better in shootouts, which the Rangers have only won one time in four this season. ... The Rangers, who scored two power-play goals, went 1 for 4 on the power play Saturday night in Buffalo, and got a pair of short-handed goals. ... The Panthers' OT loss to Buffalo on Friday night cost them a chance at the team's first four-game winning streak since 2008. ... New York D Michael Del Zotto has had an assist in four straight games.

scoring summary
1st Period
11:40
NYR
PPG - Brad Richards (11) ASST: Ryan Callahan (9)
1 - 0 NYR
17:27
NYR
PPG - Artem Anisimov (6) ASST: Erik Christensen (4), Anton Stralman (1)
2 - 0 NYR
18:07
FLA
Erik Gudbranson (1) ASST: Kris Versteeg (18), Stephen Weiss (19)
2 - 1 NYR
2nd Period
05:45
NYR
Derek Stepan (6) ASST: NONE
3 - 1 NYR
10:43
NYR
Steve Eminger (2) ASST: John Mitchell (4), Brian Boyle (6)
4 - 1 NYR
16:53
NYR
Marian Gaborik (15) ASST: Artem Anisimov (13), Derek Stepan (13)
5 - 1 NYR
17:48
NYR
Derek Stepan (7) ASST: Michael Del Zotto (12), Marian Gaborik (10)
6 - 1 NYR
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
05:32
NYR
Steve Eminger  Hi-sticking against  Tim Kennedy
07:43
FLA
Jack Skille  Interference on goalkeeper against  Henrik Lundqvist
10:32
FLA
Mikael Samuelsson  Too many men/ice - bench
11:49
NYR
Brian Boyle  Tripping against  Marco Sturm
15:32
FLA
Tomas Fleischmann  Tripping against  Marian Gaborik
2nd Period
03:44
NYR
Brandon Prust  Hi-sticking against  Mike Weaver
10:47
NYR
Brandon Prust  Fighting (maj) against  Krys Barch
10:47
FLA
Krys Barch  Fighting (maj) against  Brandon Prust
11:09
NYR
Jeff Woywitka  Holding against  Matt Bradley
3rd Period
00:40
NYR
Marian Gaborik  Hi stick - double minor against  Jason Garrison
11:18
NYR
Jeff Woywitka  Holding against  Sean Bergenheim
goalie stats
Scott Clemmensen
SA: 11TOI: 20:00
Saves: 11EV: 10 - 10
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: 1.000SH: 1 - 1
Jose Theodore
SA: 22TOI: 40:00
Saves: 16EV: 13 - 17
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 3
SV%: .727SH: 2 - 2
Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist
12-5-4
SA: 21TOI: 60:00
Saves: 20EV: 12 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 8
SV%: .952SH: 0 - 0