Rick Nash had a goal and assist in the first period, and Ryan Callahan had a pair of assists as the New York Rangers hung on to eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a 6-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
Derick Brassard and Nash both scored power-play goals, with help from Callahan in the first, and Mats Zuccarello found the net for the second straight game to give the playoff-hopeful Rangers their sixth win in nine games (6-2-1).
Zuccarello scored in the second period and then added his second of the night with 4:49 left in the game when he tipped the puck in after Brad Richards raced it up ice and fed in front. Brassard made it 5-1 just 1:24 later with his second of the game, with an assist from Nash, and Richards pushed the lead to five goals with 1:24 remaining.
New York had a lackluster 4-2 loss at Philadelphia on Tuesday that allowed Winnipeg to get even in points in the tight Eastern race. The Rangers (22-17-4) have five games left.