The New York Rangers are attempting to tie the Eastern Conference Finals. And on Friday night, they got off on the right foot. Forward Vincent Trocheck scored the opening goal of the game. However, the goal was quickly overshadowed. Rangers players and members of the Florida Panthers ended up in a wild brawl.

The Rangers did not keep the lead for long. Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe scored to bring his team level. At the end of the first period, the score between the two teams remained tied. The score remains tied at the time of publication. Florida holds a 1-0 series lead by virtue of their 3-0 win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday.

Rangers, Panthers engage in intense Game 2

New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck (16) takes a shot against Florida Panthers defenseman Niko Mikkola (77) during the first period of game one of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The fight between the Rangers and Panthers was an example of how Game 2 has gone. After the Vincent Trocheck goal, both teams threw the body. In fact, we saw another big incident during the first period. Florida star Ryan Lomberg crushed New York star Mika Zibanejad at center ice as Zibanejad had his eyes on the puck.

Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov entered the fray, as well. He delivered a massive check to Rangers Alex Wennberg, who was a bit slow to get up. After a video review, the Florida blueliner received a two-minute penalty for interference. It marked the first of three Panthers penalties in the first period.

Florida defenseman Niko Mikkola came back to haunt his former team. The former Rangers rearguard lit up Blueshirts captain Adam Fox in the first period. This caused some more pushing and shoving as New York players stood up for their captain.

Florida threw 18 hits in the first period. The Rangers, meanwhile, delivered 22 checks in the opening frame of Game 2. In contrast, New York only recorded 28 hits in the entirety of Game 1 of the 2024 Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night.

The Rangers and Panthers clearly don't like each other much in Game 2. It was never going to be easy for either side in the Eastern Conference Finals this season. It'll certainly be interesting to see how the increased physicality impacts these teams as the series unfolds.

Vincent Trocheck, Rangers take Game 2

The Panthers certainly threw their weight around during this second game. But in the end, it was the hosting Rangers who had the last laugh. New York won Friday night's contest in overtime to tie the series at one. The series now shifts back to Sunrise, Florida with each team essentially back at square one.

The Rangers received their game-winning goal from a rather unlikely source. Veteran forward Barclay Goodrow was the hero in the extra frame. In fact, he scored off a feed from Vincent Trocheck. Trocheck, a former Panthers forward, recorded a team-high two points during this game.

The game remained physical all throughout. New York ended the contest having recorded 51 hits to Florida's 42. The Panthers had the edge in terms of penalty minutes, though. Florida racked up 12 penalty minutes compared to New York's eight.

Both goalies played incredibly well in this contest. Igor Shesterkin recorded 26 saves on Friday night to help his team win. But Sergei Bobrovsky also turned in a fantastic performance. He made 28 saves to keep the Panthers in this game until the last shot. These two teams return to the ice on Sunday night in Florida with puck drop scheduled for 3 PM Eastern Time.