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New York Rangers

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Southeast Division-Leading Panthers Visit New York



Henrik Lundqvist stopped 36 of 38 shots when the Rangers visited Florida on November 23rd


Henrik Lundqvist stopped 36 of 38 shots when the Rangers visited Florida on November 23rd

When: Sunday, December 11, 7:30 p.m.

Opponent: vs. Florida (16-8-5)

TV: MSG

UPDATE: Andrew Gross reports that Sean Avery will be scratched in favor of Erik Christensen (5:59 p.m.)

EARLIER: A year ago New York went 10-6-0 in the second game of back-to-backs, a record that was a strong indicator of the team’s resiliency and blue-collar work ethic.  The extra points earned from those games were as critical as those earned via the shootout (in which the Rangers were 9-3) in pushing New York into the playoffs.

So far this season the Blueshirts are 2-0-1 in the second game of back-to-backs, a mark they’ll try to improve tonight against the surprising Florida Panthers.

The Blueshirts didn’t deliver a perfect effort on Saturday evening against Buffalo, but New York has taught us that it doesn’t necessarily need its “A+” game to pick up victories.

Three special teams goals were more than enough to dispatch of the injury-weakened Buffalo Sabres, but the Rangers will face an even greater test when they host the Southeast Division leading Panthers tonight.

Yes, believe it or not, Florida hasn’t gone away.  The Panthers lost star goalie Tomas Vokoun to free agency - the Washington Capitals signed him to a one-year, $1.5 million deal - but the Panthers used their considerable extra cash to retool their entire roster.

Florida’s lineup is nearly unrecognizable from a year ago and so far the Panthers have thrived with their new faces.

Florida’s top line of Kris Versteeg, Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann hasn’t slowed since these teams last met two weeks ago, picking up seven goals and 13 assists in their last eight games.

Fleischmann delivered a goal and assisted on Jason Garrison’s point blast when the Panthers beat the Rangers 2-1 on November 23rd.  It was New York’s second loss after its seven-game win streak and the Rangers ripped off five victories in a row after the defeat.

At that point Florida could be dismissed as an early-season overachiever, but the Panthers earned consecutive victories over San Jose, Washington and Boston last week and, like the Rangers, have established themselves as a top-tier team that isn’t going away.

The Blueshirts will turn back to Henrik Lundqvist tonight after Martin Biron delivered his usual stellar fill-in start on Saturday evening.

Coach John Tortorella also appears to have tired of the line combinations that powered New York through November.  Last night Brandon Dubinsky was returned to a line with Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan, amongst other experiments.

Before the season few would have guessed that a matchup between Florida and New York would have playoff implications, but these teams could be jockeying for seeding come March and could see each other again in the postseason. 

One thing the Ranger must keep in mind is staying out of the box.  Florida’s third-ranked power play has been dynamite this year and Garrison made New York pay the last time these teams met.

 

Click here for our full 2011-2012 Season Archive >

Follow us on Twitter (@NYRBlueBulletin and @kevinbaumer) and on Facebook

 

 

Posted by Kevin Baumer | December 11, 2011 at 11:46 am
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New York Rangers VS Los Angeles Kings
Friday, June 13, 2014

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 0 2 0 0 2
Kings 1 0 1 1 3








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