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Rangers hold on, end Panthers’ season-opening point streak

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A furious last-minute comeback fell short Monday night for the visiting Florida Panthers, who took their first regulation loss of the season as the New York Rangers hung on for a 4-3 win.

Igor Shesterkin allowed two goals in the final 1:26 but made 42 saves for the Rangers, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

The Rangers were outshot 45-18 overall but carried a 4-0 lead into the third period thanks to a power-play goal by Chris Kreider and a short-handed goal by Adam Fox in the first period and four-on-four goals by K’Andre Miller and Ryan Strome 30 seconds apart in the second.

The Panthers, whose 10-0-1 start was the best 11-game start in the NHL since the Buffalo Sabres opened 10-0-1 in 2006-07, roared back in the third period, when Eetu Luostarinen scored 20 seconds after faceoff and Sam Reinhart and Patric Hornqvist scored in a 46-second span.

Florida had a chance to tie the game after pulling goalie Spencer Knight, but Shesterkin turned back a shot by MacKenzie Weegar with 11 seconds left and Jacob Trouba blocked a shot by Jonathan Huberdeau in the final second.

Knight recorded 14 saves.

Kreider put back the rebound of a redirect by Mika Zibanejad 7:52 into the first. Fox, open near the right faceoff circle, took a whirling pass from Barclay Goodrow and beat Knight with the backhand for the short-handed tally with 5.9 seconds left.

Miller extended the lead to 3-0 with a highlight-reel goal. After taking a pass from Kreider deep in the Rangers’ zone and darting up the right side of the ice, Miller, with one hand on his stick, moved past Weegar around the Panthers’ blue line, maneuvered the puck in front of him beyond Weegar’s reach and flicked a shot into the left corner of the net at the 12:48 mark of the middle period.

Less than a minute later, Strome then beat Knight beyond his glove.

The Panthers’ comeback bid began when Luostarinen’s shot glanced off the post and skittered in the crease before Luostarinen buried the rebound through a gaggle of four players.

Reinhart’s shot from the slot sailed beyond Shesterkin’s glove with 1:26 left, and Hornqvist pulled the Panthers within a goal by scoring off a faceoff with 40.1 seconds remaining.

–Field Level Media

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