DEREK STEPAN scored twice, including a coast-to-coast goal just after the Rangers killed a penalty, and New York beat the visiting Florida Panthers 6-1 last night.

Stepan also assisted on Marian Gaborik's goal late in the second period that made it 5-1 and seemed to take what spring remained out of the Panthers. New York looked nothing like a team playing for the second night in a row, putting away the Panthers for their fourth win in six games.

Brad Richards, Artem Anisimov and former Panthers defenseman Steve Eminger also scored for New York. Erik Gudbranson scored for Florida, which has lost two in a row following a three-game winning streak.

Florida went down 2-0 early after Richards and Anisimov scored power-play goals, but the Panthers replied 30 seconds after Anisimov's goal when Gudbranson scored on a slap shot from just inside the blue line with 1:53 left in the first period.

Stepan's first goal came 5:45 after the first intermission. He darted down the right side and fired a wrist shot past Jose Theodore that made the score 3-1. He scored New york's sixth goal when he buried a long rebound with 2:12 left in the second period.

New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped 20 of 21 shots.

In another game * 

At Chicago, Patrick Sharp steered in a loose puck off a rebound at 4:26 of overtime to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Chicago improved to 4-0-1 in its last five games. Andrew brunette and rookie Marcus Kruger also scored for the Blackhawks, and Jamie McGinn and Justin Braun scored for San Jose.

Noteworthy * 

The Carolina Hurricanes have placed backup goalie Brian Boucher on injured reserve with a lower body injury and said that rookie-of-the-year and team-leading scorer center Jeff Skinner is out with an undisclosed injury. The team recalled forward Drayson Bowman from its AHL affiliate in Charlotte.