The Rangers welcome the Florida Panthers to Madison Square Garden Tuesday night. In what will be the Rangers third straight home game and last game to close out November. November was a step in the right direction for the Rangers, as they won ten of their last eleven games. The Panthers though have been on an up and down roller coaster all year, taking five of their last ten games.
Through the first two months of the year, the Rangers currently sit sixth in the Metropolitan division, with a 13-9-3 record, 28 points, one behind the Penguins and Capitals, two behind the Islanders, three behind the Blue Jackets and four behind the Devils. As you can tell the Metropolitan is tight and these two points are needed.
The Panthers have been extremely inconsistent and find themselves in seventh place, with a 9-12-2 record after two months of play. Right now it looks as if the Panthers are an easy write off for the playoffs. Now, with Evgeny Dadonov out for 4-6 weeks their offensive struggle will continue.
Coming into tonight the Rangers have won eight straight on home ice and during those eight games, Henrik Lundqvist has been the main reason for the Rangers home ice success. In Lundqvist’s last ten games he has picked up eight wins while allowing 58 goals on 323 shots. Lundqvist is riding high right now and it is paying dividends into the Rangers success right now.
The Rangers offense has not been dominated by one guy, while the team leading Mika Zibanejad has 22 points, and Kevin Shattenkirk leads the defense with 18 points. While the Panthers are led by Vincent Trocheck with 23 points and Jonathan Huberdeau has 22 points.
Tonight with the Panthers playing back to back the Rangers will need to jump on them quick. With the Rangers success on home ice, it shall not be a problem to see a win tonight. If the Rangers start out fast and do not start slow like they have been in the past, success shall come for the Rangers.