Mika Zibanejad scored twice as the New York Rangers defeated the Florida Panthers 5-3 on Sunday night, snapping a two-game losing streak.
New York also got goals from Chris Kreider, Vincent Trocheck, and Artemi Panarin after starting the season 0-1-1. New York’s Jaroslav Halak finished with 32 saves.
The Panthers, who have lost their last two games and eight of their last 11, received goals from Nick Cousins, Sam Bennett, and Eric Staal. Sergei Bobrovsky came up with 23 saves.
Zibanejad scored his first goal on a power play at 14:36 of the first period, and his second midway through the second gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
That goal seemed to rouse the Panthers, who scored twice in the period but trailed 3-2 entering the third period.
Cousins scored Florida’s first goal at 13:57 of the second period, and Kreider made it 3-1 at 15:44.
Bennett’s power-play goal with less than a minute remaining in the second period gave the Panthers a boost and ended a 0-for-9 streak with a man advantage dating back to Friday night’s loss at Carolina.
Trocheck, who was drafted by the Panthers and spent his first seven NHL seasons with them, gave the Rangers a two-goal lead again at 1:38 of the third period when he tapped in a pass from Kreider on a power play.
Just over a minute later, Staal scored his fourth goal of the season, bringing Florida within one goal.
Panarin restored the Rangers’ two-goal lead at 10:04 of the third period, making the score 5-3.
Alexis Lafreniere was back in the lineup for the Rangers after being a healthy scratch on Friday night in Tampa. Lafreniere was playing on the third line with Filip Chytil and Jimmy Vesey. Three of New York’s coaches had ties to the Panthers. Gerard Gallant, along with assistant Mike Kelly, was the head coach in Florida for parts of three seasons (2014-16). Gord Murphy joined the Panthers as a defenseman and later became an assistant coach. … After playing Anton Levtchi the previous two games, Florida had Zac Dalpe back in the lineup. On Saturday, Levtchi was assigned to the AHL Charlotte.