NHL Roundup: Rangers top Florida, surge to top of pack
Florida's Matt Bradley (22) fights for control of the puck with New York's Ryan Callahan Thursday. The Rangers, who lead the NHL standings, play the Penguins tonight.
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Marian Gaborik scored 3:29 into overtime for the host New York Rangers, who outlasted the Florida Panthers, 3-2, and moved to the top of the NHL standings with their eighth win in the past nine games.
Gaborik took a drop pass from Derek Stepan in the high slot and slapped in a drive for his 23rd goal this season.
New York (25-9-4) stayed one point ahead of Boston in the Eastern Conference, but jumped one point in front of West-leading Vancouver, which was idle.
Martin Biron, starting for the fourth time in the past nine games to give No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist a lighter workload, made 19 saves.
Defenseman Anton Stralman and captain Ryan Callahan also scored for the Rangers, who showed no ill effects coming back to play indoors after their Winter Classic victory at Philadelphia. Lundqvist is expected to start tonight against the Penguins.
Marcel Goc and Mike Santorelli scored goals, Mikael Samuelsson had two assists and Scott Clemmensen stopped 38 shots for the Southeast Division-leading Panthers, 0-2-3 in their past five road games -- including two losses at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers took their first lead 4:24 into the third when Callahan scored his 14th goal during a power play after Florida was caught with too many men on the ice.
But there was not enough time for the goal to be announced to the joyous crowd before the Panthers tied it again 36 seconds later.
Santorelli, who served the too-many-men penalty, let go a shot from the center of the right circle that squeezed in between Biron's left shoulder and the top corner of the net to make it 2-2 at 5:00.
• Bruins 9, Flames 0: Nathan Horton and Patrice Bergeron each had two goals and an assist, and Tuukka Rask earned his third shutout in his past four starts as rampaging Boston cruised to a blowout of road-weary Calgary. The win was the ninth in 10 games for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who have outscored the opposition, 49-13, over that span.
• Flyers 5, Blackhawks 4: James van Riemsdyk's second goal on the power play with 32.8 seconds remaining lifted host Philadelphia past Chicago.
• Maple Leafs 4, Jets 0: Jonas Gustavsson stopped 24 shots for his second career shutout, leading host Toronto to a win against Winnipeg.
• Senators 4, Lightning 1: Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and two assists and Craig Anderson made 35 saves as Ottawa extended its winning streak to four games by beating Tampa Bay.
First Published January 6, 2012 12:00 am