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After an afternoon of counterpunching, Rangers find way to floor Panthers with OT knockout blow

Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Hockey

SUNRISE, Fla. – By now, it has become apparent that the New York Rangers’ path to victory against the Florida Panthers in this Eastern Conference Stanley Cup playoff series will be counterpunching.

So Sunday at Amerant Bank Arena they absorbed, withstood, and then landed the knockout of an Alex Wennberg goal 5:35 into overtime on a deflection of a Ryan Lindgren shot.

No, the Rangers were not the better team for the majority of the afternoon, nor arguably for the much of the best-of-seven series’ first three games. But with pair of overtimes goals to end the past two, they are assured of taking home-ice advantage back to Madison Square Garden for Thursday night’s Game 5 after Tuesday’s Game 4 on the Panthers’ home ice.

“There are things I think we can clean up,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette understated.

Understand, the Panthers had the final 24 shots of the third period and held a 95-35 advantage on shot atempts (not just shots on goal) through regulation.

Then came Wennberg.

 

Then came silence, except from those in the white jerseys on the ice and the blue jerseys in the stands.

“It’s just a chance to reset,” Laviolette said of getting to the overtime, after blowing a 4-2 third-period lead.

Final shots: Panthers 108, Rangers 44.

Final score: Rangers 5, Panthers 4.

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