Jacob Markstrom made 44 saves and just missed his first NHL shutout, and the cellar-dwelling Florida Panthers dealt the playoff-hopeful New York Rangers a big blow in a 3-1 victory Thursday night.
The Rangers had gotten back into eighth place in the Eastern Conference with wins on two consecutive nights this week after a three-game skid. But Markstrom was sharp and shut down offensively challenged New York.
Markstrom, who has played in only nine games since being recalled from the minor leagues in February, earned his third NHL win of the season and fifth in 17 career games.
Markstrom lost his shutout bid when Marian Gaborik cut the Rangers' deficit to 2-1 with 3:48 left, but the 23-year-old goalie settled for wins in back-to-back games. Gaborik had gone seven games without a goal.
Brian Campbell scored in the first period, and Scottie Upshall made it 2-0 in the second against Henrik Lundqvist, who faced 23 shots. Florida (9-16-6) has the fewest points in the NHL.