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Rangers visit Florida in last Winter Classic tuneup

Friday, 12.30.2011 / 2:13 AM / Schedule

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Rangers visit Florida in last Winter Classic tuneup
The Rangers have one more task to get through before heading to Philly for the Winter Classic. First, they must get through Florida and the Panthers.
While fans of the New York Rangers may be looking forward to Monday's showdown against the Flyers in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the Rangers themselves have a more immediate task at hand -- beating the Florida Panthers in one of five games on Friday's NHL schedule.

The Rangers come to South Florida off a 4-1 loss at Washington on Wednesday, while the Panthers, the top team in the Southeast Division, haven’t competed since beating Toronto 5-3 on Tuesday.

The 7:30 p.m. ET start is the last game for the Rangers before Monday afternoon's visit to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

Friday's action starts at 7 ET when Buffalo, a 3-1 loser at New Jersey on Wednesday, visits Washington. A half-hour later, Calgary continues its two-week road trip with a stop in Ottawa, where the Senators are trying to rebound from Tuesday's 6-2 loss to Montreal.

At 8 p.m. ET, Nashville visits St. Louis; the Blues are back home after Tuesday's 3-2 loss at Detroit, while the Predators come to town following Wednesday's 2-1 shootout win against Minnesota. The Wings move on to Chicago for an 8:30 p.m. ET start -- the Hawks will try to bounce back after Wednesday's 2-0 home loss to Los Angeles.
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He is, in my opinion, one of the best defensemen in the NHL and continuing to grow. I think his game, from an offensive standpoint, he continues to drive our offense... I think there's still tremendous upside for Oliver.

— Coyotes GM Don Maloney on defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson