Eric Lindros scored early in the first period and Mike Dunham made 34 saves for the Rangers, who were winless in their first four games (0-2-2) for the first time since they dropped four straight to start the 1998-99 campaign.
The Rangers finished the game without Lindros, Chris Simon and Vladimir Malakhov. Lindros suffered an undisclosed injury in the second period and did not return. Simon and Malakhov were involved in second-period fights that ended their night.
Tom Poti gave New York a 2-0 lead with seven seconds left in the second period. Petr Nedved hit an empty net with 52 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
Niklas Hagman scored for the Panthers, who extended their winless streak to five games (0-3-2).