SUNRISE, Fla. — David Quinn coached his 100th game as the Rangers’ head man on Saturday night against the Panthers at BB&T Center.
“Someone just mentioned that to me today,” Quinn said before the game. “And I had no clue. It’s a nice round number. That’s all it is. It’s a nice round number.”
It would have been nice if the Rangers could have commemorated the milestone with a win, but Quinn had to settle for a good-but-not-good-enough effort in a 4-3 loss to the Panthers.
Evgenii Dadonov scored his second goal of the game to snap a 3-3 tie with 2:16 left in the second period as the Rangers went 0-for-Florida on a two-game Sunshine State sojourn.
The Rangers were coming off a 9-3 drubbing by the Lightning on Thursday in Tampa.
Quinn’s record is 40-44-16. This season, it’s 8-8-2.
Henrik Lundqvist reached a milestone of his own and missed a second. Lundqvist (26 saves) tied Grant Fuhr for 10th place on the NHL’s all-time appearances list with his 868th.
A victory would have been Lundqvist’s 454th, which would have tied Curtis Joseph for fifth place on the NHL’s all-time list.
Florida coach Joel Quenneville earned his 900th win. He joined Scotty Bowman as the second coach in NHL history to reach 900 wins.
This one didn’t start well for the Rangers when Pavel Buchnevich was whistled for hooking 1:01 into the game. The Rangers, who allowed five power-play goals Thursday, gave up another one when Mike Hoffman scored at 2:05.
Ryan Strome answered for the Rangers 34 seconds later when he beat Sergei Bobrovsky (30 saves) for his sixth of the season.
A pattern had been established: With Micheal Haley off for slashing, Dadonov gave Florida a 2-1 advantage at 6:50.
“We take two stupid penalties to start the game and they capitalize on them,” Quinn said. “That being said, five-on-five, I thought we did a lot of good things. I thought we were on top of them. I thought we had some great scoring chances. They have a real good hockey team and it just wasn’t enough.”
But the Rangers came back again when Artemi Panarin tied it at 2 with a wrister at 8:47. The goal came against his good friend Bobrovsky, was Panarin’s ninth of the season and extended his career-high points streak to 11 games.
The period ended tied only because of several key saves by Lundqvist. The Rangers were outshot 13-8. The wide-open start was reminiscent of the Panthers’ 6-5 shootout victory at the Garden last Sunday.
“This was much better,” Quinn said. “I think we only gave up about 15, 16 scoring chances. You do that and you’re going to win. You should win most nights.
“This was a much different game. It was a different feel from our end of it. I thought we played much better tonight than we did the last time we played them. But disappointing not to get the two points.”
The Rangers took a 3-2 lead when Panarin threaded a pass to Tony DeAngelo, who beat Bobrovsky short side at 5:47 of the second period for his career-high sixth goal.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, the next shot taken tied the score at 3. It was by Florida’s Brett Connolly and went in off Lundqvist’s stick and the far post at 7:51.
“They’re a tricky team,” Lundqvist said. “I feel like they were just going for it. We had our opportunities, but they made it tough for us, also, in our end.”
The Rangers owned play in the first part of the second period, but the Panthers took it back. And kept it.
“It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to get two points tonight because I thought we did a lot of things that put ourselves in position to get two points,” Quinn said. “But at the end of the day, we didn’t get it done.”