Goodrow scores in overtime, Rangers outlast Panthers to tie series 1-1

Barclay Goodrow played the hero on Friday night as he scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lift the New York Rangers over the Florida Panthers 2-1. Vincent Trochek scored the other goal for New York and Carter Verhaeghe scored Florida's.

NEW YORK — Tough guy Matt Rempe added the excitement the Rangers lacked in Game 1 against the defending Eastern Conference champion Florida Panthers. Linemate Barclay Goodrow gave New York and its fans something even more important — an overtime goal.

Goodrow scored 14:01 into the extra period to give the Rangers a 2-1 victory in Game 2 on Friday night, evening the conference final. The fourth-line center has four goals in the postseason, matching his total in 80 regular-season games.

“It was great, a massive goal. A really clutch goal,” Rangers forward Alexis Lafreniere said. “We were playing good, they were playing good. A tight game. Obviously, we didn’t like our Game 1. Tonight was a big game and we played well.”

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Goodrow fired a snap shot between the circles over goalie Sergei Bobrovsky’s right shoulder, sending the Madison Square Garden crowd that had been sitting on edge into a frenzy. It was his second winner in these playoffs, with the other coming against Washington.

“When you see someone who does so many other things to help a team be successful, I’m really happy for a guy like that to make a huge impact in the game tonight,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said.

The Rangers really needed this win. Since the league went to conferences in 1967-68, no team has lost the first two games at home and come back to win the conference final.

“You shouldn’t beat the Presidents’ Trophy winner twice in a row, you really shouldn’t,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said. “We got that to overtime. I liked it. We just couldn’t get it to go. It was two really good goaltenders at each end. It was exciting”

Vincent Trocheck scored early and had the primary assist on Goodrow’s goal, while Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves for New York — six in the overtime

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The Rangers made only one lineup change after losing the opener of the best-of-seven series 3-0, and it was the 6-foot-7 Rempe replacing Kaapo Kakko. The crowd loved it and cheered the big guy with every hit. They roared when he was forced to take a faceoff and won it.

“It was a blast, so much fun,” Rempe said.

It wasn’t as much fun as the first game for Florida, which had its 11-game postseason overtime winning streak snapped. It dated to Game 3 of the 2021 first round.

Carter Verhaeghe scored a power-play goal for Florida and Bobrovsky made 29 saves. The Panthers lost for only the second time in seven games away from home in the playoffs.

“They’re a really good team,” Verhaeghe said. “We didn’t expect to win every game. They come out strong. We got a split. We go home and refocus.”

The series shifts to Florida for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Tuesday.

The Rangers missed on a good chance earlier in overtime when a rebound of Chris Kreider’s shot bounced to Filip Chytil, but his shot toward an open net hit off the rear end of Panthers defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and deflected just wide.

The Rangers converted early on Trocheck’s seventh goal of the playoffs 4:12 after the opening faceoff. The play was set up by a collision between Verhaeghe and Lafreniere and it allowed Adam Fox to find Trocheck for a back-door tap-in.

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There was a skirmish after the goal — one involving Verhaeghe and Lafreniere — and New York got a power play. The Rangers didn’t convert on that and another at the 10:04 mark when Dmitry Kulikov got two minutes for a hit to the head on Alex Wennberg. It was reviewed for a major.

Florida got its first power play late with 2:50 left in the period and Verhaeghe converted from straight on after sidestepping a block attempt by Wennberg.

Both teams hit goalposts in the second period with Wennberg clanging one early on a Rangers power play and Aleksander Barkov hitting one in close late in the second period.

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