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Associated Press
11/8/2006 10:55:29 PM


SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Michael Nylander scored the only goal in the shootout to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-3 victory over Florida on Wednesday night.

Martin Straka added two power-play goals for the Rangers, who improved to 6-2 on the road this season. Blair Betts had the other New York goal. Henrik Lundqvist, returning in net for the Rangers after being replaced by Kevin Weekes the last three games, made 37 saves before the shootout.

Ruslan Salei, Nathan Horton and Jay Bouwmeester scored for the Panthers, who trailed 2-0 midway through the second period.

But the Panthers were stymied in the shootout by Lundqvist. He stopped Olli Jokinen, Horton and clinched the victory when he blocked Joe Nieuwendyk's backhand attempt on a deke.

Nylander scored on the Rangers' first attempt in the shootout when he deked to his backhand and lifted the puck past Ed Belfour.

Belfour, who also beat the Rangers on Oct. 25, stopped 27 shots for the Panthers in regulation and overtime.

Betts gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead at 1:34 of the third on a spectacular individual effort. He came in on the wing and skated around defenceman Mike Van Ryn before his backhand flip was stopped by Belfour. The rebound came right back to Betts, who put the puck past Belfour.

Bouwmeester tied it at 9:57 when he skated in from the point and poked home a loose puck through a crowd in front of the net.

The Rangers had a 4-on-3 power play in overtime, but it was negated when Michal Rozsival was called for interference just 23 seconds after the Florida penalty.

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