GAME: Florida Panthers (17-20-10-3) at New York Rangers (18-20-7-4).
TIME: Monday, 7 p.m. EST.
Jaromir Jagr's home debut for the New York Rangers can't go much worse than
his first game with his new team.
Jagr plays at Madison Square Garden in a Rangers uniform for the first time
as his team tries to bounce back from an embarrassing loss in a matchup with
the Florida Panthers.
The debut of Jagr did nothing to help New York out of its slump or boost the
job security of coach Glen Sather. One day after being acquired from Washington
in a long-rumored deal, Jagr had no points and only one shot on goal in 19:50
of ice time as the Rangers were routed 9-1 at Ottawa on Saturday.
It was the team's most lopsided defeat since a 10-2 loss at Quebec on March
"It wasn't the start I was looking for, that's for sure," said Jagr, who
threw his linemates offside on his first two offensive rushes.
"It's not nice to lose 9-1 in your first game, but hopefully the worst is
behind me and this team, and we somehow learn from this loss and turn things
The Rangers have lost four in a row and are winless in their last six
(0-4-2) -- both season highs.
If the team struggles again in this game, the embattled Sather certainly
will hear about it from the Garden crowd, which chanted 'Fire Sather' in home
losses last week to Boston and Philadelphia. It might not take long for the
home crowd to shower Sather with more jeers after the team was humiliated on
"It's one of the worst beatings I've taken in my career," Sather said.
"It seemed like everyone stood around and was waiting for Jagr to win it for
Having Jagr in the lineup can't help the Rangers' troubled goaltending
Starter Mike Dunham sat out Saturday due to a concussion, though he's 0-3-2
with a 3.52 goals-against average in his last five starts. His status for this
game is uncertain.
Backup Jussi Markkanen allowed six goals in the first and third periods
Saturday while Jason LaBarbera, recalled from the AHL a day earlier, gave up
three goals in the second.
Roberto Luongo has provided Florida with outstanding goaltending in the
team's last two games. He's stopped 71 of 73 shots in victories over Washington
Luongo, named to the All-Star team on Thursday, wasn't sure he'd play
Saturday until shortly before game time, but came through with 43 saves in a
2-1 win at Boston.
"Right at the last minute I thought `I think Roberto's going to have a good
one here,"' Florida coach Rick Dudley said. "I don't know why, I just did."
The Panthers are looking to win three in a row for the first time this