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2 Minutes For: Helping Out, Climbing & More

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
     
  747.

 
That’s how many turkeys the Florida Panthers Foundation handed out Tuesday to underprivileged families for Thanksgiving at the Cooperative Feeding Program in Broward County.
 
747. More than 9,000 pounds.
 
After collecting more than $10,000 from Panthers coaches, players and employees, the Panthers Foundation, as well as players Nathan Horton, Nick Tarnasky, Shawn Matthias, Kenndal McArdle and Victor Oreskovich helped stock the food pantries, assist in the kitchen and hand out boxes of food to needy families.
 
747.
 
COLLECTING AND CLIMBING
 
Having earned points in seven consecutive games and going 8-2-2 since Oct. 30, the Panthers continue their climb up the standings after a rough start. Although it’s early in the season, the Panthers find themselves just three points from fifth in the Eastern Conference with the Rangers coming to town.
 
Coach Peter DeBoer said after a Tuesday morning practice at incredible ICE that Monday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Penguins was tough. “On the other side, with some of the people we have out and still playing (Sidney) Crosby and (Evgeni) Malkin, if someone had told me before the game we’d hold them in check for two periods and we’d find a way in overtime to get a point, we’d be pretty happy with that,” he said.
 
“We’re picking up points every night and that’s the main thing,” he added.
 
The Panthers are playing some of their best hockey of the season despite being without 30-goal scorer David Booth (concussion) and Cory Stillman (knee). DeBoer said Stillman has a strained knee and will likely miss approximately three weeks. Meanwhile, Gregory Campbell (upper body) practiced Tuesday but was called “doubtful” for Wednesday’s game against the Rangers.
 
 
  While the Panthers have done a better job holding on to third-period leads lately, they lost a 2-0 lead Monday against the Penguins. They’re now 4-2-3 when going into the third period with a lead, last in the league with a .444 percentage.
 
“We’ve won some games lately holding the lead,” DeBoer said. “I think a lot of it (Monday) had to do a lot with Sidney Crosby and Malkin…They just took it to another level and we didn’t respond. Whether it was the fatigue of four games in six nights, the first game back from travel, whatever it was. I don’t think it’s anything technically or structurally that we need to fix. I think we’re playing with some confidence and we’ve won some games lately and held some leads lately. You have to give them credit. They took it to another level in the third and we couldn’t go with them.”

RANGERS LOOK TO BUILD ON WIN

 
The Rangers kick off a three-game road trip at BankAtlantic Center against the Panthers coming off a 7-4 victory Monday against Columbus. The Rangers, who jumped out to a 7-1 start, are 5-9-1 in their last 15 games and haven’t won back-to-back games since Oct. 14-17, which also happened to coincide with the end of a seven-game winning streak.
 
The Rangers have been without captain Chris Drury for the past five games due to a concussion. But Drury participated in his first contact drills Monday and was scheduled to meet Tuesday with doctors.
 
Marian Gaborik is tied for the lead league with 18 goals and is ranked second in the league with 32 points. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist is 10-8-1 with a .913 save percentage and 2.64 goals against. Lundqvist is 7-4-1-3 against the Panthers with a 2.03 goals against average.

Tomas Vokoun is 6-5-1 against the Rangers with a 2.62 goals against.
 
QUOTE OF THE DAY
 
“I don’t ever remember a game like that. I don’t even know what to say after something like that.” Phil Kessel after watching his Maple Leafs fire 61 shots on Islanders goalie Dwayne Roloson and lose 4-3 in overtime.
 
PASSING THOUGHTS
 
The Rangers are 10-0 when going into the third period with a lead.
 
Seven of Gaborik’s 18 goals have come on the power play.
 
Go figure: Calgary is now 1-12-6 with 10 consecutive losses in Anaheim dating back to 1999 after Monday’s shootout loss to the Ducks.
 
Bob Nevin
 
Song of the day: ‘Thank You,’ by Led Zeppelin.
 
 
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