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Rangers return home to take on the Panthers; Jooris could return tonight

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-vs-panthers

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

 

 

 

Following a loss at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets to conclude their four game road trip, the Rangers (13-5-0) are back at MSG to take on the Florida Panthers (9-8-1), last season’s Atlantic Division champions.

The Rangers got goals from Mika Zibanejad and Michael Grabner but that wasn’t enough as the Blue Jackets scored late and secured a win. That was just the Rangers’ second loss in their last 10 games, and they still sit atop the Metropolitan Division Standings.

The Panthers have had a bit of a rough start to the season, tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs for fifth in their division. There’s been some injuries, underperforming and integrating new players into the roster, which takes some time. But at the center of the team is the same group of young talent that won the Atlantic last season. Read the rest of this entry

Home Cooking: Rangers secure a huge two points over the Panthers at MSG

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers goal celebration 3-21

In an important home ice matchup looking for a huge response to the sub-par California road trip, the Rangers (41-24-8) came back to form with a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers (40-24-9), despite some late scares.

Alain Vigneault and his squad corrected many of the problems they had on the road trip. The shots and possession were drastically improved and very even. The Rangers actually were the ones dominating play for the first 30-40 minutes. And while there were still some defensive miscues, it was nothing close to what we had seen for most of March.

Despite the fact that Oscar Lindberg doesn’t deserve to be sitting in the press box, the fourth line had another really solid game. They were the only line that played well in San Jose and most of the road trip, the scoring has improved lately, and the chipped in two goals again tonight, one being an empty netter. Viktor Stalberg played like a man possessed, scoring the opening goals and generating a lot of pressure. And on top of that, Stalberg, Moore and Glass all finished positive in Corsi For, the only line to do so. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers aim to get back on track with important game against the Panthers

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Panthers 1-2

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

After a disappointing California road trip that exposed many of the team’s flaws, the Rangers (40-24-8) enter the home stretch with just 10 games remaining, playing three of the next four games at MSG. They start tonight against the Florida Panthers (40-23-9), who sit in first place in the Atlantic Division.

In their last game out, Henrik Lundqvist kept his team in the game for a long time despite being completely outplayed. The Sharks totaled 52 shots on goal, two times as many shots as the Rangers had, and scored four times. That put the Rangers at 3-4-2 in the last nine games.

And while the Rangers are significantly cooling down, other teams are starting to heat up. The playoff picture in the Metropolitan is very tight. The Rangers currently sit in third place, tied with the Penguins in games played, wins and points. But Pittsburgh have won six straight games and eight of the last 10. The Blueshirts are three points ahead of the Islanders for the first wild card spot, but the Isles have two games in hand. And the Red Wings trail the Rangers by five points with no games in hand for the last Wild Card spot. Read the rest of this entry

New year, same Rangers; Rangers fall to Panthers down in Florida

Bobby Bevilacqua

This is a scary loss.

Rangers vs Panthers 1-2

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Rangers (21-14-4) looked to conclude their road trip and start the new year on a high note, but instead lost to the Florida Panthers (22-12-4), shut out by a score of 3-0.

The last time the Rangers won two games in a row, it started with a win over the Panthers on November 21st. A lot has changed since then. The Rangers have slumped massively, going 5-11-2 in their last 18 games. The Panthers have leapfrogged everyone in the Atlantic Division and are outplaying almost everyone they face.

Before the loss tonight, the Rangers had won seven straight games against the Panthers. Florida also won their eighth consecutive game, a new franchise record. The win also put them back atop the Atlantic Division. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers close out road trip against surging Panthers; Girardi playing injured?

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs panthers 2-2

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After many ups and downs to the season during the 2015 portion of this season, the Rangers (21-13-4) will look to start 2016 out on the right foot when they take on the Florida Panthers (21-12-4), a youthful team with ambitions of a playoff berth.

This is the second of three matchups against the Cats this year, and the last one down in Sunrise, Florida. The Rangers skated away with a 5-4 victory on November 21st thanks to Rick Nash’s monster night. Nash scored his second career hat trick in the game, including the game winner, as well as registering 10 shots on goal. Mats Zuccarello had a goal and two assists, and Henrik Lundqvist made 39 saves for the win.

The Panthers enjoyed one of the best months in franchise history, going 11-3-0 in the month of December, including winning their last seven games. A win tonight would set a new franchise record. Because of their success, and their place in the Atlantic Division, the BB&T Center has been packed as of late. With the Rangers in town, you can expect a packed and raucous arena tonight. Read the rest of this entry