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Preview: Rangers at Panthers

New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist one win from 10th all-time; Florida adjusts lines

by Alain Poupart / Correspondent

RANGERS (42-22-2) at PANTHERS (29-24-11)

7:30 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-F, NHL.TV


Rangers team scope

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start for the New York Rangers after Antti Raanta made 38 saves in a 1-0 overtime win at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. Lundqvist has 403 wins and can pass Grant Fuhr to move into 10th place on the NHL's all-time list. He is also one victory away from becoming the first goalie in League history with 30 or more wins in 11 of his first 12 seasons. The Rangers lead the NHL with 23 road wins entering the second of a four-game trip. They hold the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference with 86 points and are two behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets for second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins and Blue Jackets each have two games in hand.


Panthers team scope

The Florida Panthers will switch their lines, with newly acquired forward Thomas Vanek and Jonathan Marchessault joining center Vincent Trocheck. Jussi Jokinen and Reilly Smith will skate with Nick Bjugstad, a line that played together in the Eastern Conference First Round last season when Trocheck was out with a foot injury. The Panthers are coming off consecutive 2-1 losses, in a shootout at the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday and against the Dallas Stars at home on Saturday, but coach Tom Rowe said better defense was the objective. "Skill is not the issue; it's being willing to commit to playing defensive hockey and managing the puck properly," Rowe said. "When we do that, we're as good as anybody. If we don't, it's going to be a tough thing to get in the playoffs. The team's just got to commit to playing defensive hockey." Florida is 1-4-1 in its past six games after a 5-0-0 road trip; the Panthers are two points behind the New York Islanders for the second wild card from the Eastern Conference. 


Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Derek Stepan -- Mats Zuccarello

Pavel Buchnevich -- Mika Zibanejad -- Rick Nash

Jimmy Vesey -- Kevin Hayes -- J.T. Miller

Tanner Glass -- Oscar Lindberg -- Brandon Pirri

Ryan McDonagh -- Brendan Smith

Marc Staal -- Nick Holden

Brady Skjei -- Steven Kampfer

Henrik Lundqvist

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Adam Clendening, Matt Puempel

Injured: Michael Grabner (hip), Dan Girardi (ankle), Jesper Fast (shoulder), Kevin Klein (back)

Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Jaromir Jagr

Thomas Vanek -- Vincent Trocheck -- Jonathan Marchessault

Jussi Jokinen -- Nick Bjugstad -- Reilly Smith

Shawn Thornton -- Derek MacKenzie -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Mark Pysyk -- Alex Petrovic

Michael Matheson -- Jason Demers

James Reimer

Reto Berra

Scratched: Jakub Kindl, Michael Sgarbossa, Denis Malgin

Injured: Roberto Luongo (lower body)


Status report

Grabner is expected to miss his fourth game after being injured in practice last Wednesday. He told the Rangers website he hops to return at the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. … Rowe hopes Luongo will return next week.


Who's hot

The Rangers' penalty kill was 6-for-6 against the Lightning. Zibanejad's overtime goal Monday was his third game-winner in OT or a shootout in New York's past seven games. … Reimer is 5-3-1 with a 1.88 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in his past 10 games. Barkov (seven goals, five assists) and Huberdeau (five goals, seven assists) each have 12 points in 13 games since returning from their respective injuries. The Panthers lead the League in penalty killing (86.1 percent) and have not allowed a power-play goal in their past 10 games (23 attempts).

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