The Rangers erupted for three goals in the first period Friday night en-route to a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center. With the win, the Rangers---who have now won 6 of their last 7 games---jumped ahead of the Boston Bruins for first place in the Eastern Conference with 50 points. Carl Hagelin scored on the game's first shift Friday, netting his seventh goal just 35 seconds into play, to set the tone for the Rangers. Brad Richards made it 2-0 at 5:10 of the first, recording his first point in the last six games. Richards then made a beautiful cross-ice pass to set up Michael Del Zotto's fifth goal of the season at 15:37 to increase the Rangers lead to 3-0. Brandon Dubinsky effectively put the game away with a tremendous one-man effort, bulling his way past Kris Versteeg towards the Panthers net to score his third goal in the past five games 7:41 into the second period. Matt Bradley scored on a deflection at 9:28 of the second for the only goal allowed by Henrik Lundqvist on 28 shots. Hagelin (1-1-2), Richards (1-1-2), and Ryan McDonagh (two assists) each recorded two points for the Blueshirts, whose next game will be the outdoor Winter Classic Monday afternoon in Philadelphia. Share your thoughts on the game below.
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