New York Rangers @
5 p.m., Sunday
Rangers Record: 22-14-3
Panthers Record: 16-17-2
Tonight, Jan. 2, the Rangers take on the Florida Panthers at
the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, FL. The Rangers, 6-2-2 in their last 10
games, look to get back to winning ways after an overtime loss against the
second-place Tampa Bay Lightning last night. New York enjoyed a torrid
December, winning all but four games (8-3-1) last month. Regardless of the
team’s plethora of injuries this season, the Rangers have been able to stay
extremely competitive in their division and in the Eastern Conference, sitting
comfortably in playoff contention (seven points above ninth place).
The Panthers, coming off a tough home loss in overtime
against the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 31, look to reestablish home dominance
with a win over the Rangers. The Panthers are currently a sub-.500 team and
only 7-6-2 at home, so improving their home play is crucial to saving this
The Rangers continue to suffer from injuries to forwards
Vinny Prospal, Erik Christensen, Derek Boogaard and Ryan Callahan, none of whom
are due to return any time soon. Defenseman Michael Del Zotto has not
played since Dec. 18 due to a combination of illness and injury
The Panthers’ injury report seems to be turning around for
the new year, as Friday’s game marked the return of forwards Rostislav Olesz,
Cory Stillman, and Radek Dvorak from the disabled list.
Rangers’ rookie forward Derek Stepan was riding a five-game
scoring streak (4G, 2A) going into Saturday night’s game, while Brandon
Dubinsky and Brian Boyle were enjoying four-game point streaks (both 2G, 3A).
All three players had their streaks broken in Saturday’s loss, but the game
still held some promise. The Rangers managed to scrape a point out of what was
sure to be a regulation loss when Marian Gaborik scored off a feed from Dan
Girardi with 46 seconds remaining in the third period. The team’s ability to
fight back, especially in a physical game, bodes well for the future of the
Be sure to check in at 5 o’clock to catch the Rangers and
Panthers’ matinee match-up!