SUNRISE, Fla. — With three assists, including one on Kevin Shattenkirk’s winner, J.T. Miller wrapped up his Florida trip with aplomb.
Miller, who scored the overtime winner on Thursday in Tampa with an end-to-end rush, tied his single-game career highs with three assists and three points. He leads the team in assists with 11. He won six of nine faceoffs in 16:22 of ice time and has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in his last 10 games.
‘D’ helps on offense
In the first 14 games of the season, Rangers defensemen had only five goals. Coach Alain Vigneault has been trying to focus more on their play in front of their net, but scoring certainly helps.
On Saturday, Rangers defensemen scored three times, and Rick Nash’s power-play tip-in in the third period came off a shot by another defenseman, Ryan McDonagh.
Nick Holden scored his first of the season and Kevin Shattenkirk added his third and fourth as the Rangers’ defensemen had 13 shots against goalie Roberto Luongo.
David Desharnais, who joined the Rangers during the summer, was supposed to be a healthy scratch against the Panthers after skating with the spares on Saturday morning. Paul Carey, who hadn’t played since Oct. 14, was going to sub for him, but Desharnais played on the third line when Boo Nieves came down with the flu.
Desharnais had two goals and five assists in 14 games, including assists in two of the previous three games. With Nieves under the weather, Carey moved down to Nieves’ spot, centering the fourth line.
Desharnais played 14 minutes and went 1-for-6 on faceoffs. Carey played 8:35 and was 3-for-6 at the dots.