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Goodrow’s Overtime Goal Lifts Rangers To 2-1 Victory Over Panthers In Game 2, Tying Eastern Conference Final

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Tough guy Matt Rempe injected the Rangers with the energy they lacked in Game 1 against the defending Eastern Conference champion Florida Panthers. Linemate Barclay Goodrow provided something even more crucial—a game-winning overtime goal.

Goodrow scored 14:01 into the extra period, securing a 2-1 victory for the Rangers in Game 2 on Friday night, which tied the conference final series. This marked Goodrow’s fourth goal of the postseason, equaling his total from 80 regular-season games.

He fired a snap shot from between the circles that sailed over goalie Sergei Bobrovsky’s right shoulder, sending the tense Madison Square Garden crowd into a frenzy. This was his second game-winning goal in these playoffs, the first having come against Washington.

The Rangers desperately needed this win. Since the league’s shift to the conference format in 1967-68, no team has ever lost the first two games at home and then come back to win the conference final. Vincent Trocheck scored early and assisted on Goodrow’s goal, while Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves for New York, including six in overtime.

The Rangers made just one lineup change after losing the opener of the best-of-seven series 3-0, with the 6-foot-7 Matt Rempe replacing Kaapo Kakko. The crowd loved it, cheering the big guy with every hit and roaring when he won a faceoff.

In contrast, it was a less enjoyable game for Florida, which saw its 11-game postseason overtime winning streak end. This streak dates back to Game 3 of the 2021 first round. Carter Verhaeghe scored a power-play goal for Florida, and Bobrovsky made 29 saves. The Panthers suffered only their second road loss in seven playoff games this season.

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

Earlier in overtime, the Rangers missed a prime opportunity when a rebound of Chris Kreider’s shot bounced to Filip Chytil, whose attempt towards an open net deflected off the rear end of Panthers defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, narrowly missing the mark.

The Rangers got on the scoreboard early with Trocheck’s seventh goal of the playoffs, just 4:12 into the game. The play was initiated by a collision between Verhaeghe and Alexis Lafreniere, allowing Adam Fox to set up Trocheck for a back-door tap-in.

A skirmish ensued after the goal, involving Verhaeghe and Lafreniere, resulting in a power play for New York. The Rangers failed to capitalize on this power play and another opportunity at 10:04 when Dmitry Kulikov was penalized for a hit to the head on Alex Wennberg, a call that was reviewed for a major.

Florida’s first power play came late in the first period, with 2:50 remaining, and Verhaeghe scored from straight on after evading a block attempt by Wennberg.

Both teams hit the goalposts in the second period, with Wennberg clanging one during a Rangers power play early in the period, and Aleksander Barkov hitting one in close toward the end of the second period.

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