Published January 13, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - With a chance to match the longest road winning streak in club history, the New York Rangers instead struggled on both ends of the ice in a shutout loss.
The Rangers look to rebound on their road trip Wednesday night as they visit the Florida Panthers, who try to win two in a row for only the second time this season.
New York began this five-game trip with victories in Dallas and Nashville, pushing its overall road winning streak to six straight games, the longest for the club since a six-gamer from Jan. 19-March 2, 2006.
Aiming to extend that run on Monday, the Rangers were instead blanked 5-0 by the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was a perfect storm for New York, which was held without a goal for the fifth time this season while also seeing a string of 16 straight games of allowing three goals or fewer snapped.
Henrik Lundqvist gave up four goals on 22 shots and was lifted after the second period. Cam Talbot, who had won both of his previous starts by way of a shutout, gave up a goal with 1:01 to play, snapping his scoreless streak at 165 minutes and 27 seconds.
"We didn't play that bad," said Lundqvist. "We made a few mistakes and paid for it. I wasn't able to come up with the saves."
New York, which ends its trip on Friday in Boston, is expected to start Lundqvist again tonight. He is 16-9-1 with a 1.78 goals against average and five shutouts in 26 previous meetings with the Panthers.
That includes a 4-3 victory at home on Nov. 10, when Lundqvist stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced. Brad Richards and Mats Zuccarello each scored in the third period to power the Rangers to their fifth victory in their last seven versus the Panthers.
New York has lost three of its last four in Sunrise.
Coming off a 2-2-1 road trip, the Panthers kicked off a five-game homestand with Monday's 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Tim Thomas made 38 saves and Sean Bergenheim scored twice for his first goals since April 24, 2012 during the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Erik Gudbranson added a goal and an assist for the Panthers, who have only won two in a row one other time this season. They did so on Nov. 16 and 19, picking up road wins in Colorado and Vancouver.
Florida was in danger of falling behind against Philadelphia as it was down two men early in the second period after a scoreless opening frame. However, the Panthers killed off the penalties and then got a goal from Bergenheim shortly after to grab momentum.
"That was really big killing off that power play," said Thomas. "We've been working on that because we know how huge special teams are, and it helped us win the game."
Thomas is likely to start tonight and is 5-10-3 with a 2.77 GAA in his career when facing the Rangers. He took the loss on Nov. 10, allowing four goals on 29 shots faced.