NEW YORK (AP) -- The Rangers' recipe for victory was simple and unorthodox.
Most of all, it was effective.
Eric Lindros scored with a knuckling shot before being injured
and Tom Poti added a goal with New York playing short-handed when
it didn't have to in a 3-1 victory Monday night over the slumping
The flukey goals and another strong game by goalie Mike Dunham
gave the Rangers their first win of the season in five tries.
"He won the game for us," captain Mark Messier said of Dunham,
who made 34 saves. "You can X and O yourself to death, but in the
end you have to play with emotion, grit, determination and some
Dunham has given up eight goals on 114 shots this season, and
posted a shutout in a scoreless tie last Thursday.
Florida had its winless streak stretched to five games (0-3-2),
scoring one goal in four games and two in the other.
Lindros scored 1:41 in and Poti made it 2-0 with 7 seconds left
in the second period as the Rangers improved to 1-0-2 on their
six-game homestand -- the longest of the season. Petr Nedved added
an empty-net goal with 52 seconds left.
Lindros left the game with a left shoulder injury and was sent
for X-rays before the third period. Coach Glen Sather wasn't sure
exactly when Lindros was hurt, except he knew the center played a
while after the injury.
"He was hurt earlier in the game," Sather said. "It started
to bother him later on."
Lindros left Madison Square Garden without speaking to
Sather said Lindros would be re-evaluated Tuesday. The Rangers
don't play again until Saturday. It is New York's second four-day
break in a season that is only five games old.
"It's a tough loss for us, obviously," Messier said. "Losing Eric was disappointing, but he'll be back."
Florida hasn't won since opening with a victory over Carolina.
Roberto Luongo was beaten twice on 27 shots after yielding only
eight goals on 182 shots in his first five games.
"I had a pretty good start, and tonight I would like to have
both goals back," Luongo said. "Maybe we would've had a different
outcome. It's disappointing."
Lindros got a loose puck in the neutral zone and let go a shot
from the left circle that tipped off Luongo's glove as it sailed
into the net to make it 1-0.
Luongo made over 30 saves in four previous starts this season,
including a 46-save effort Saturday against the New York Islanders.
But on this one, he was left staring quizzically at his empty
Poti made it 2-0 just seconds after New York (1-2-2) killed off
a three-minute power play, given to the Panthers when Chris Simon
received a major penalty for elbowing Pavel Trnka in front of the
With Trnka crumpled on the ice, Andreas Lilja charged Simon in
front of the Rangers net, threw his gloves off and began to fight.
A few feet away, New York defenseman Vladimir Malakhov squared off
Simon, Malakhov, and Horton were ejected.
The Rangers didn't put anyone in the box to serve Simon's
penalty and planned to do so at the first stoppage of play -- which
never came. So New York skated four-on-five well after the penalty
It didn't matter.
Poti let go of a shot inside the blue line that skidded between
Luongo's pads. The period ended with the Rangers skating off to
thunderous applause -- a far cry from the first two home games.
"They worked hard and stuck together as a team and competed. It
was a great effort," Sather said.
Hagman poked in a rebound to bring Florida within 2-1.
The Panthers heeded the challenge of coach Mike Keenan and
general manager Rick Dudley, who wanted to see their players
respond better to physical play.
"We had a strong effort in terms of intensity and passion for
the game, which a coach always appreciates," Keenan said.
Florida was pushed around by the Islanders without much
response. But the Panthers were willing to mix it up with the big
Rangers. Lindros was knocked down twice early near the Panthers
Both of Lindros' goals this season have been unassisted.
... Panthers RW Ivan Novoseltsev was in the starting lineup after
missing Saturday's loss on Long Island because of the birth of his
daughter, Alexandra, earlier that day. ... Anson Carter was moved
off right wing on Lindros' line in favor of Jamie Lundmark. ...
Simon received 25 penalty minutes. ... Florida was 0-for-6 on the
power play. New York, the only NHL team without a power-play goal,
was 0-for-4 and is 0-for-23 this season.