NEW YORK (AP) -- Ed Belfour flashed the form that has long made
him one of the NHL's top goalies and Jozef Stumpel came up big
offensively to lead the Florida Panthers to their first road
victory of the season.
Belfour stopped 35 shots and Stumpel scored two goals to help
the Panthers beat the New York Rangers 4-2 on Wednesday night.
Coming off consecutive losses to Atlanta, Florida improved to 1-4-1
on the road and 5-5-1 overall.
"That's the best we've played 5-on-5 all season," Florida
coach Jacques Martin said. "Eddie was solid. He showed a lot of
experience and composure."
"It feels good to play a full 60 minutes," Kolnik said.
"That's how you win."
New York, idle since winning a shootout in Toronto on Saturday
night, lost for the fifth time in its last seven games to fall to
"I still don't like the way we played," Rangers star Jaromir
Jagr said. "We're uptight. We're not loose, for whatever reason. I
don't know why. Maybe we concentrate too much on the defense, we
don't do anything else. It wasn't a fun game to play.
"We didn't cycle the puck much. We didn't have many chances. We
had a lot of shots but not many chances. We just have to play
looser and have fun. We're just concentrating on not making a
mistake but we have to play hockey. The one good thing is that it's
early in the season and we've got time to change it."
The 41-year-old Belfour, 2-2-0 in his first season with Florida,
allowed only Petr Prucha's power-play score early in the second
period and Martin Straka's goal off an uncontested close-range shot
with 6:50 left in the third.
"I'm starting to get in my groove," Belfour said. "My timing
is better and I'm seeing the puck much better. We definitely needed
Stumpel opened the scoring on a power play in the first period
and sealed the victory with 3:29 remaining with his fifth goal of
"It's huge," Stumpel said. "We needed a good feeling in the
locker room about playing on the road."
Kolnik gave the Panthers a 3-1 lead at 6:32 of the third period
after stealing defenseman Michal Rozsival's backhand pass attempt
along the boards. Kolnik broke in alone on Henrik Lundqvist, faked
him out of position and easily forehanded the puck into the empty
net for his fourth goal of the season.
Campbell made it 2-1 at 4:10 of the second period, tipping
Rostislav Olesz's high shot past Lundqvist just 36 seconds after
Prucha tied off a rebound a second after a two-man advantage ended.
Two nights after a special-teams meltdown in a 6-3 home loss to
Atlanta, the Panthers killed Joe Nieuwendyk's early hooking penalty
and opened the scoring on Stumpel's power-play goal. On Monday
night, Florida allowed five goals in seven short-handed situations
and failed to score on six power-play chances. Against the Rangers,
Florida was 1-for-2 on the power play and successfully killed five
of six penalties.
"Tonight, we got some big goals and some big saves that we
haven't been getting," Martin said. "It's so close in the
conference that you have to get these wins."
Stumpel scored with New York's Karel Rachunek off for hooking,
firing a low snap shot through Lundqvist's legs.
The Panthers also killed Steve Montador's elbowing penalty that
carried into the second period and Gary Roberts' roughing
infraction early in the second, but Roberts was only a step on the
ice and Olli Jokinen still off for tripping when Prucha scored.
Lundqvist made 20 saves.
"I'm not happy," Lundqvist said. "This a game we needed to
win and should have won. We played well, but just made some
unfortunate mistakes in our own zone."
Florida right wing Todd Bertuzzi missed his fourth straight
game because of back spasms. ... After playing six of their first
nine games at home, the Rangers will play nine of their next 11 on
the road, starting Saturday night in Phoenix with the first of four
straight games on a West Coast swing. ... The Panthers will face
New Jersey on Thursday night and complete their three-game trip
Saturday night against the New York Islanders.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Madison Square Garden Location: New York, New York
Referees: Dave Jackson, Ian Walsh Linesmen: Steve Miller, Pierre Racicot
Attendance: 18,200 (101.1% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Jozef Stumpel (4)
(Power Play) Assists: Bryan Allen, Jay Bouwmeester
Petr Prucha (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Brendan Shanahan, Jaromir Jagr
Gregory Campbell (1)
Assist: Rostislav Olesz
Juraj Kolnik (4)
Martin Straka (4)
Assists: Aaron Ward, Marek Malik
Jozef Stumpel (5)
Assists: Olli Jokinen, Jay Bouwmeester