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Tired team, rusty goalie persevere

11/27/2003

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- New York Rangers coach Glen Sather had
plenty of reasons to worry when the Florida Panthers took a
two-goal lead less than 21 minutes into the game.

Sather's team was playing its second game on consecutive nights,
and goalie Mike Dunham looked rusty in his return after a
10-day absence.

"I thought they looked tired," Sather said.

The Rangers got refreshed in a hurry, scoring two goals in the
second period to earn a 3-3 tie with the Panthers on Wednesday
night.

Dunham made 28 saves after missing four games because of a groin
injury.

"Florida came at us in the first period," Dunham said. "But
we got out of the first period just down one."

Olli Jokinen scored twice for the Panthers.

Mark Messier provided Dunham with an early lead when he beat
goalie Roberto Luongo four minutes in for his 10th goal of the
season.

The Panthers came back to take a 2-1 lead into the first
intermission.

Valeri Bure scored with 10 minutes remaining in the period when
he gathered a rebound and backhanded a shot past Dunham, who was
out of position. Jokinen scored with 6:02 left to make it 2-1.

Florida has scored four first-period goals in its past two
games. Six of the Panthers' nine wins this season have come when
they led after the first period.

Jokinen scored his second goal 48 seconds into the middle
period. He skated through on a two-on-four disadvantage and slipped
the puck past Dunham for his 10th goal.

Jokinen's goal was the last offensive bright spot for Florida.
Dunham shut down the Panthers the rest of the way.

"It would have been easier to give up and lay down at that
point," Sather said. "We're starting to develop some character."

With the Panthers' offense stalling, the Rangers increased the
pressure.

"We just stopped skating out there, and they took it to us,"
Luongo said.

Eric Lindros cut New York's deficit to 3-2 when he scored on a
shot from just inside the blue line 4:24 into the second period.

Boris Mironov tied it with 1:26 remaining in the period when he redirected a perfect diagonal pass from fellow defenseman Vladimir Malakhov.

Luongo finished with 37 saves, but the most important stop was
made by Dunham.

With less than 20 seconds remaining in overtime, Dunham forced
Jokinen to miss on a breakaway, securing the tie.

"I don't know if it touched my glove or not," Dunham said of
the shot. "He just took it wide and played the waiting game. I
just lunged at it."

Game notes
Rangers C Bobby Holik is still two points shy of 600 in his
NHL career. ... This was the second of three straight road games for
New York. The trip includes three games in four days, including Tuesday's win at Tampa Bay. The Rangers will play at Pittsburgh on
Friday. ... Florida played its fifth game in eight days. ...
Panthers C Viktor Kozlov has at least one point in 13 of his 20
games.