The Panthers, who have been outscored 30-8 during their current six-game losing streak, would clinch the worst record in the NHL this season with a loss.
Florida will look different Tuesday from the team the Rangers beat 6-1 Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Panthers will have two new defensemen in the lineup, with veteran Filip Kuba and recent AHL call-up Colby Robak replacing injured Erik Gudbranson and Dmitry Kulikov. Kuba missed the game against the Rangers last week because of a lower-body injury, but was in the lineup for games against the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins over the weekend.
Up front, the big change for Florida is the return of right wing Peter Mueller, who missed the Panthers' four-game road trip to be with his wife, Taylar, for the birth of their first child, a son they named Charlie.
Mueller worked during the morning skate Tuesday on a line with Tomas Kopecky and center Nick Bjugstad, who will be playing in his ninth game after ending his career at the University of Minnesota and is still looking for his first NHL point.
"He looked like he had four, five days off, so he's going to need to pick it up tonight to be able to play at the pace this game is going to be at," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said of Mueller.
Mueller's usual wing partner, Jonathan Huberdeau, skated Tuesday morning on a line with Marcel Goc and Tomas Fleischmann. Huberdeau is tied for the rookie scoring lead with Cory Conacher of the Ottawa Senators with 28 points and leads all rookies with 14 goals.
Huberdeau is one of the leading candidates for the Calder Trophy, but said that's not his focus.
"If I put pressure on myself, like I want to win, it won't happen," Huberdeau said. "I just try not to think about it. I need to finish strong, so that's what I'm going to try to do and we'll see what happens at the end of the year."
Jacob Markstrom was the first goalie off the ice for the Panthers and is expected to get the start.
Veteran Jose Theodore, who has been out since sustaining a groin injury March 2, was one of three players who worked before the morning skate. Dineen wouldn't rule out Theodore playing in one of the Panthers' final two games -- Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs or Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning -- but added "it's probably not realistic right now."
Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start in net for the Rangers.
Here are the projected lines for Tuesday's matchup between the Rangers and Panthers:
Scratched: Jack Skille
Injured: D Tyson Strachan (upper body), D Erik Gudbranson (upper body), D Dmitry Kulikov (upper body), D Ed Jovanovski (hip), RW Kris Versteeg (knee), C Stephen Weiss (wrist), G Jose Theodore (groin), LW Sean Bergenheim (groin), LW Eric Selleck (upper body)
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