NEW YORK — Igor Shesterkin made a season-high 42 saves and the New York Rangers held off Florida 4-3 on Monday night, handing the Panthers their first loss in regulation this season.
Chris Kreider and Adam Fox each had a goal in the first period before K’Andre Miller and Ryan Strome scored 30 seconds apart in the second as New York built a 4-0 lead after two.
Eetu Luostarinen scored 20 seconds into the third for Florida (10-1-1), poking in the puck for his fourth goal of the season. Sam Reinhart made it 4-2 at 18:34 with this third before Patric Hornqvist scored at 19:20 to make it a one-goal game.
The Panthers tried for the tying goal with goalie Spencer Knight pulled for an extra skater, but Shesterkin made one more key save in the waning seconds.
Shesterkin, facing the Panthers for the first time in his career, earned his sixth win this season and second straight at home. He blanked Columbus 4-0 on Oct. 29 and is 8-0-0 in his career when making at least 40 saves.
The Panthers entered 10-0-1, their only blemish a shootout loss at Boston on Oct. 30. They were coming off a 5-2 win over the previously undefeated Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.
The Rangers, playing their third game in four nights, recovered from a 6-0 drubbing at Calgary on Saturday after they lost 6-5 in overtime at Edmonton the previous night. They scored four goals on 18 shots against Knight.
New York (7-3-3) improved to 2-1-1 at Madison Square Garden.
Kreider opened the scoring on the power play at 7:52 with his team-leading ninth goal, knocking a loose puck past Knight. Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin assisted. Kreider has five goals in his last six games.
Fox scored short-handed at 19:54 of the first, sending the Rangers off to rousing cheers with a 2-0 advantage even though the Panthers outshot the home team 11-9.
The goal was the third this season for Fox, who won the Norris Trophy last season as the NHL’s best defenseman. Fox has points in 10 of 13 games this season.
The Rangers appeared to take a three-goal lead midway through the second but a goal by Panarin was negated because of goaltender interference. Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette challenged the on-ice call and it was reversed because Rangers forward Ryan Strome was deemed to have impaired Knight in the crease.
With the teams playing 4-on-4, Miller made it 3-0 with a highlight-reel goal, going end-to-end at 12:48 of the second for the defenseman’s first goal of the season.
Strome made it 4-0 just 30 seconds later, depositing a pass from Panarin behind Knight. The goal was Strome’s second this season and was also assisted by Jacob Trouba.
Florida outshot the Rangers 17-6 in the second and held a 28-15 shots advantage heading into the third.
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