SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) Sam Reinhart scored two goals, Aleksander Barkov tied a franchise career record by collecting three assists, and the Florida Panthers beat the NHL-leading New York Rangers 4-3 on Friday night.

Carter Verhaeghe got the winning goal for Florida with 6:23 remaining in the third period. Evan Rodrigues also scored for the Panthers, and Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 31 saves. Barkov tied Jonathan Huberdeau for the Panthers' record with 415 assists.

“That's three wins in a row against three really good teams,” said Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk, who had two assists for a Florida team that has topped Stanley Cup champion Vegas, then Tampa Bay and now the Rangers in its last three outings. “We really haven't played a perfect start-to-finish game, but we're finding ways. And that's very encouraging.”

Artemi Panarin, Will Culleye and Mika Zibanejad scored for the Rangers, who tied the game twice after facing deficits of 2-0 and 3-2. Panarin and Culleye scored 1:13 apart in the second period to tie the game for New York.

Jonathan Quick stopped 28 shots for the Rangers, who lead the NHL with a .721 standings-point percentage so far.

“I don’t think it was a bad game or our best game, but I thought they played some good hockey too," Zibanejad said.

Florida improved to 15-0-1 when leading after two periods and 14-1-0 when scoring at least four goals. New York is 2-9-1 when allowing four or more goals - the Rangers are 22-0-0 when holding opponents to three goals or less.

“Great building, great opponent, great win for us,” Bobrovsky said.

Barkov departed with 8:37 left after taking a high hit to the head from the Rangers' Alexis Lafreniere. Referees originally called a 5-minute major, then downgraded the penalty to a minor.

Zibanejad briefly made matters worse for Florida with a short-handed goal 52 seconds into the Panthers' power play, tying the game again at 3-3. The Rangers killed off the rest of the Panthers' man advantage, but Verhaeghe scored 14 seconds after New York returned to full strength.

And the next boost for Florida came a couple minutes later, when Barkov returned to the ice with 4:17 left after a brief stint in the Florida dressing room.

“Huge boost,” Verhaeghe said. “Barky's the best player on our team and anytime he's in the lineup he makes a huge difference. It was nice to get him back for the last couple minutes, just to know he was OK.”

Barkov is the Panthers’ leader in games (696), goals (254), points (669), power-play goals (71), power-play points (196), game-winning goals (46) and shots on goal (1,854). The only offensive franchise record of note that he doesn’t have is power-play assists; Huberdeau still leads him there, 146-125.


Rangers: Visit Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Panthers: Host Montreal on Saturday.



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