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Stanley Cup Final

Rangers visit Florida in last Winter Classic tuneup

Friday, 12.30.2011 / 2:13 AM / Schedule

NHL.com

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.

I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game