Nathan Horton, Jordan Leopold and Steven Reinprecht scored goals and Tomas Vokoun made 32 saves as the streaking Florida Panthers beat the slumping New York Rangers 3-2 on Saturday night.
Vinny Prospal and Marian Gaborik scored for the Rangers, who lost for the fourth time in five games.
These teams are going in opposite directions. After a slow start, the Panthers have won eight of 11 (8-2-1). The Panthers won for the second time in two nights, following up on a 2-1 overtime victory at Detroit on Friday.
The Rangers, 7-1 to open the season, dropped their third straight at Madison Square Garden.
The Panthers appeared to put the game away when Horton, polishing off a 2-on-1 break with Stephen Weiss, gave Florida a 3-1 lead 2:35 into the third period.
As they have all season, the Rangers got a needed lift from Gaborik. The star forward scored his team-leading 16th goal at 6:01 to cut the deficit back to one goal. Gaborik scored from the right circle at the end of a three-way passing play with defenseman Michal Rozsival and Prospal. It was his fifth goal in six games.
Gaborik's goal energized the Rangers as they pressed for the equalizer. Vokoun held firm, making a diving pad stop on Sean Avery with 2 minutes left and denying Gaborik's stuff try with 1 minute remaining.
Reinprecht and Leopold scored second-period goals as the Panthers took a 2-1 lead.
Reinprecht pulled Florida even at 8:48 with a hard backhander from the slot.
The Panthers then took the lead on a strange goal at 11:09. Defenseman Kenndal McArdle, fighting to control the puck at the right point, chopped it toward the Rangers net. The puck popped in the air with Leopold taking a swipe at it. He got the goal after a video review determined that the shot was not directed in by a high stick.
Prospal scored the only goal of the opening period with an unassisted tally at 14:11. Prospal intercepted a Florida attempt in the neutral zone and curled into the Panthers zone to fire a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot that dribbled past Vokoun's left pad.
New York's Henrik Lundqvist had a busy period, making 12 saves. His best moment was a diving stop on Horton as he tried to finish a 2-on-1, give-and-go break with Michael Frolik. Lundqvist also caught a break when Reinprecht rang a power-play drive off the post.
NOTES: Rangers are still missing centers Brandon Dubinsky (wrist) and Chris Drury (concussion). Drury has resumed workouts. ... Panthers LW David Booth is also sidelined by a concussion. LW Cory Stillman missed the game because of a knee injury sustained Friday. ... Vokoun got the start after Scott Clemmensen made 39 saves against Detroit. ... The game kicked off a stretch of five games in eight nights for the Rangers.