New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Rick Nash scored twice and Henrik Lundqvist came up with 33 saves as the New York Rangers tripped up Florida, 6-3, at Madison Square Garden.
"It's a nice accomplishment. It just shows how good my linemates are and how good the team is doing. Personal success always comes after team success," noted Nash, who scored his 30th and 31st goals of the season.
Kevin Hayes, Marc Staal, Dan Boyle and Mats Zuccarello also lit the lamp for the Rangers, who have won two in a row and five of their last seven.
Aleksander Barkov, Dave Bolland and Brandon Pirri tallied for the Panthers, losers in seven of their last eight. Roberto Luongo surrendered five goals on 37 shots but stopped a Carl Hagelin penalty shot late in the contest.
Boyle put the Rangers back on top to stay thanks to a fluke shot near the left-wing boards that bled through Luongo's pads at 8:10 of the third period.
Zuccarello provided the insurance marker with 4:02 left in regulation, sweeping home a Chris Kreider rebound from atop the crease.
Hagelin was awarded a penalty shot after being foiled on a contested breakaway on the following shift. He failed on a forehander with 3:19 to go and it remained 5-3.
Nash, however, capped the victory with an empty netter inside two minutes to play.
"It doesn't feel like the end of the year," said Bolland, when it was suggested these losses push the Panthers out of the playoff picture. "It's no fun losing but it's not the end of the year. There's always another game. We have another one [Tuesday] and we'll be ready to play."
Florida picked up the game's first goal at 4:09, as Brad Boyes fed Barkov in front for a successful one-timer.
Nash's short-handed breakaway ended with a backhander past Luongo to tie the game at 8:49, and the hosts went up 2-1 on a Hayes one-timer from the right wing on a power play at 2:51 of the second.
It was 3-1 on Staal's wrister from the bottom of the right circle near the midway point before Bolland batted in a Sean Bergenheim pass with 7:09 left.
Bolland fed Pirri for a strike early in a power play and it was 3-3 with 4 1/2 left before the second intermission.
Nash hit the 30-goal mark for the eighth time in 12 seasons and his four short-handed goals are tied for tops in NHL. He's the first Ranger to score 30 and have at least as many SHG in one season since Theo Fleury in 1999-2000 (30G, 7 SHG) ... Lundqvist recorded his 334th career win, moving him alone into 20th place on the all-time list ... Kevin Hayes' brother Jimmy finished with four hits, four shots on goal and a minus-3 in 14:51 of ice time for Florida.