Goodrow scores in overtime, Rangers outlast Panthers 2-1 in Game 2 to even Eastern Conference final

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NEW YORK (AP) — Barclay Goodrow scored at 14:01 of overtime and the New York Ranger beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Friday night in Game 2 to even the Eastern Conference final.

Goodrow, who had four goals in 80 regular-season games, fired a snap shot between the circles over goalie Sergei Bobrovsky’s right shoulder, sending the Madison Square Garden crowd that had been sitting on edge into a frenzy. It was his fourth goal in 12 postseason games, including two winners.

Vincent Trocheck scored early and had the primary assist on Goodrow’s goal, while Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves for New York — six in the overtime

Riding the excitement of having tough guy Matt Rempe back in the lineup, the Rangers showed a lot more life after being shut out 3-0 in the opener.

Carter Verhaeghe scored a power-play goal for Florida and Bobrovsky made 29 saves. The Panthers lost for only the second time in seven games away from home in the playoffs.

The series shifts to Florida for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Tuesday.

The Rangers missed on a good chance earlier in overtime when a rebound of Chris Kreider’s shot bounced to Filip Chytil, but his shot toward an open net hit off the rear end of Panthers defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and deflected just wide.

Rangers fans and pundits got what they wanted when coach Peter Laviolette inserted Rempe into the lineup and he delighted them by constantly hitting Panthers players and even winning a faceoff.

Just his presence seemed to ignite the crowd and the team and New York had a lot of jump to start, and the Rangers converted early on Trocheck’s seventh goal of the playoffs 4:12 after the opening faceoff. The play was set up by a collision between Verhaeghe and Alexis Lafreniere and it allowed Fox to find Trocheck for a back-door tap-in.

There was a skirmish after the goal — one involving Verhaeghe and Lafreniere — and New York got a power play. The Rangers didn’t convert on that and another at the 10:04 when Dmitry Kulikov got two minutes for a hit to the head on Alex Wennberg. It was reviewed for a major.

Florida got its first power play late with 2:50 left in the period and Verhaeghe converted from straight on after sidestepping a block attempt by Wennberg.

Both teams hit goalposts in the second period with Wennberg clanging one early on a Rangers power play and Aleksander Barkov hitting one in close late in the second period.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

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