The Florida Panthers edged the Rangers in a shootout Sunday night at The Garden. It was the first time this season the Blueshirts have lost back-to-back games. But that was not the worst news of the night.
Mika Zibanejad slid into the end boards in the 3-on-3 overtime and broke his left fibula. Coach Alain Vigneault said after the game that Zibanejad will be out 6-8 weeks. A big blow for the up-tempo Rangers offense.
Chris Kreider [1st period 13:15] and Zibanejad [3rd period 1:45 in] scored the goals in regulation for the Blueshirts. Former Ranger Keith Yandle [2nd period, 14:43] and Aaron Ekblad [3rd period, 7:45] had the Florida goals,
In the shootout, Mats Zuccarello‘s shot was stopped. Vincent Trocheck scored. Brandon Pirri was stopped by James Reimer. And Alexander Barkov skated in on Henrik Lundqvist, slowed down, faked, deked, and faked some more before dribbling the puck past Lundqvist for the win.
Lundqvist, playing his 700th career game for the Rangers, made 28 saves but took the loss.
The Rangers [now 13-5-1, 27 pts] begin a home-and-home with the Stanley Cup champion Penguins Monday night in Pittsburgh.