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game preview

Rangers at Panthers preview

New York seeks third straight win; three forwards return from injury for Florida

by Alain Poupart / Correspondent

RANGERS (5-7-2) at PANTHERS (4-7-1)

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


The Game

Forwards Colton Sceviour, Jared McCann and Connor Brickley all will be back in the lineup for the Florida Panthers when they face the New York Rangers at BB&T Center on Saturday.

McCann and Sceviour each missed the past five games. Brickley missed the past three.

Video: TBL@FLA: Sceviour pots Haley's feed to tie the game

The Panthers will wrap up a five-game homestand; they're 1-2-1 so far and have lost three in a row.

The Rangers, who are coming off a 2-1 overtime victory at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, have won their past two games and are 4-2-0 since starting the season 1-5-2.


Players to watch

Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad has a five-game point streak (three goals, five assists) and is tied for the NHL lead with five power-play goals.

Video: VGK@NYR: Zibanejad lasers in PPG on wicked wrister

Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck had a goal and two assists in a 7-3 loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday to tie Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov for the team lead with 14 points. Trocheck (five goals, nine assists) is tied with Huberdeau for the team lead in shots with 35.


They said it

"I've always felt it was just a matter of time before things fell into place as far as us going out and having the starts that we deserved and we earned." -- Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on his team's improved starts as of late

"Hopefully it'll inject a little energy into the dressing room and a little chemistry into our lines. If anything, it gives us a little bit of identity. It gives us a little more hardness in our lineup." -- Panthers coach Bob Boughner on the return of forwards Colton Sceviour, Jared McCann and Connor Brickley


Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich

Rick Nash -- Kevin Hayes -- Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey -- Paul Carey -- J.T. Miller

Michael Grabner -- Boo Nieves -- Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Brady Skjei -- Steven Kampfer

Marc Staal -- Nick Holden

Henrik Lundqvist

Ondrej Pavelec

Scratched: Brendan Smith , David Desharnais

Injured: None


Panthers projected lineup

Jonathan Huberdeau -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov

Connor Brickley -- Vincent Trocheck -- Radim Vrbata

Jamie McGinn -- Jared McCann -- Nick Bjugstad

Micheal Haley -- Derek MacKenzie -- Colton Sceviour

Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad

Ian McCoshen -- Mark Pysyk

Mike Matheson -- Alex Petrovic

James Reimer

Antti Niemi

Scratched: MacKenzie Weegar, Owen Tippett

Injured: Roberto Luongo (hand)


Status report

The Rangers did not hold a morning skate after practicing in Tampa on Friday. … Boughner said after the morning skate that he had not decided on a starting goaltender. He said Luongo had his best practice Friday since he was injured against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 20.


Stat pack

The 15 goals the Panthers allowed in their losses against Tampa Bay (8-5) and Columbus in their past two games represented the second-highest two-game total in franchise history; they allowed 18 in losses on Jan. 11 and Jan. 13, 2003. The three-game franchise record is 20. … The Rangers and Panthers are among the seven NHL teams that have at least five players with 10 points or more. … In his past 12 road appearances against Florida, Lundqvist had a 9-3-0 record with a 1.73 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage.

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