GAME: New York Rangers (25-34-7-5) at Florida Panthers (25-29-14-3).
TIME: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
The New York Rangers are nearing the end of yet another disastrous season.
But Jaromir Jagr continues to provide a bright spot.
Jagr hopes to keep giving the Rangers some hope for the future as they
welcome the Florida Panthers to Madison Square Garden.
The 32-year-old right wing, one of the few high-priced veterans not dealt
away by the Rangers prior to the trade deadline, has been re-energized since
joining the Rangers on Jan. 23. In his last 16 games, the five-time Art Ross
trophy winner has 10 goals and 11 assists.
In the Rangers' 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, Jagr recorded
his 41st assist of the season, extending his points streak to five games (two
goals, four assists.) Rangers captain Mark Messier also had an assist in the
loss, giving him two goals and eight points in his last six games.
The Panthers kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 3-2 win over the
Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. Roberto Luongo stopped 32 shots, and Olli
Jokinen scored his second goal of the game 1:19 into overtime.
"He gives us a great chance to win every single night," Jokinen said of
Luongo. "I think last week he was a little bit tired and he had a couple of
bad games, but he got a night off against the Maple Leafs (on Tuesday) and we
wanted to make sure he was ready to play tonight. He's been outstanding all
Sitting in 10th place in the conference, the Panthers trail the eight-place
New York Islanders by nine points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern
STANDINGS: Rangers - 62 points, 4th place, 29 PB, Atlantic Division.
Panthers - 67 points, 2nd place, 26 PB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Rangers - Jagr, 27 goals, 41 assists and 68 points; Dale
Purinton, 113 PIM. Panthers - Jokinen, 21 goals, 24 assists and 45 points;
Darcy Hordichuk, 147 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 11): Rangers - Power play: 14.2 percent (40 for
281), 26th in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.8 percent (274 for 339), 28th. Panthers
- Power play: 15.6 percent (41 for 262), 20th. Penalty killing: 86.1 percent
(272 for 316), 3rd.
GOALTENDERS: Rangers - Mike Dunham (16-25-6, 2, 2.95); Jamie McLennan
(12-9-3, 4 SO, 2.20 GAA). Panthers - Luongo (22-28-13, 7, 2.30); Steve Shields
(3-4-1, 0, 3.42).
SEASON SERIES: Rangers, 2-0-1.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 26; Rangers, 5-2. At New York, Jagr had a three-point
night in his home debut for New York, setting up Brian Leetch's tiebreaking
score and adding a third-period tally and assist.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 12-17-4-1 on the road; Panthers - 13-12-6-2 at