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Panthers Visit Rangers, Wrap Up Back-to-Back in Big Apple

by Jameson Olive / @JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

The Florida Panthers aren't a team that dwells on losses.

Immediately after kicking off their three-game road trip with a hard-fought loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday, players were already talking about the opportunity to get back in the win column the following day against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon.

"It doesn't really feel good right now," Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said after the loss on Long Island. "We lost the game… Tomorrow's a new chance. We're already thinking about it."

Barkov was the only Panther to find the back of the net in a 2-1 loss against the Islanders, as New York's top-ranked defense edged out Florida's sixth-ranked offense. With the score, the 24-year-old center is continuing to heat up, lighting the lamp in each of his last four contests.

Overall, the Panthers (7-4-5) have scored at least four goals in six of their last eight games.

"I'm happy to score goals, but it doesn't really feel good right now," said Barkov, who is tied for the team-scoring lead with 20 points (four goals, 16 assists). "We lost the game. I had a couple other chances to score and help the team, but it just didn't happen. Tomorrow's a new chance."

Barkov's goal also marked the fifth straight game the team has scored on the power play. In that span, they've gone 5-for-17 (29.4 percent) with the extra attacker. Finishing 1-for-4 against the Islanders, they had numerous good looks while generating eight shots and 11 scoring chances.

"It's frustrating that we couldn't get more than one goal," said Barkov, who's seven points on the power play are tied with defenseman Keith Yandle for the most on the team. "We had chances."

In a game dominated by excellent goaltending, Thomas Greiss made 37 saves, while Florida netminder Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 34, including 14 that originated from high-danger areas.

"He made some great saves all alone, a couple there at the end as well," Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville said of Bobrovsky. "He gave us a chance. Their goalie had one of those nights as well. It was one of those nights where goaltending was outstanding."

As it has been all season, Sam Montembeault is expected to take Bobrovsky's place between the pipes as the Panthers close out the second half of their back-to-back set this afternoon. In four appearances this season, the 22-year-old has gone 1-1-1 behind a .905 save percentage.

After dropping five of their first seven games, the Rangers (7-6-1) have righted the ship and won five of their last seven, including a 4-2 win at Carolina on Thursday. In the win, Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to seven games and his goal streak to three.

Panarin leads the team in goals (8) and points (16). Right behind him is Ryan Strome with 14 points, while Pavel Buchnevich has eight points and seven assists over his past eight games.

"I think what's happened over the last few weeks is I think there is clarity on how we're going to have to play to have success," Rangers coach David Quinn told NHL.com. "We certainly didn't do that Thursday night other than having an outstanding goaltending performance, but I think our guys are slowly realizing what we're going to have to do night in and night out."

Fresh off making a season-high 45 saves against the Hurricanes, Henrik Lundqvist is expected make his third straight start for New York. Backstopping the team to wins in three of his last four starts, the 37-year-old has stopped 138 of 147 shots for a .939 save percentage in that span.

"I have been sitting a lot," Lundqvist, who served as a backup to Alexandar Georgiev in seven of 12 games to start the season, told reporters after the win in Carolina. "When you play more games, you get into a flow where it almost feels like an extension of the last game."

The Panthers have not competed in back-to-back afternoon games since October of 2016.

NOTES

-- Jonathan Huberdeau leads the Panthers in goals (9) and is tied for first in points (20).

-- Denis Malgin has notched seven points (two goals, five assists) over his last 10 games.

-- MacKenzie Weegar leads Florida's defensemen in goals (3) and is tied for first in points (9).

-- Evgenii Dadonov ranks second in goals (7) and third in points (13) on the Panthers.

-- Brett Connolly ranks fourth on Florida in points (11) and tied for third in goals (6).

-- Aaron Ekblad has posted seven points (one goal, six assists) over his last 10 games.

-- Anton Stralman leads the Panthers with 25 blocked shots.

-- Dryden Hunt leads the Panthers with 28 hits.

-- Joel Quenneville is three wins ways from 900 as an NHL head coach.

-- Florida boasts the fifth-best penalty kill in the league, owning an 86 percent success rate.

PROJECTED LINEUP (NO MORNING SKATE)

Forwards

Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Evgenii Dadonov

Mike Hoffman - Vincent Trocheck - Brett Connolly

Frank Vatrano - Brian Boyle - Denis Malgin

Dryden Hunt - Dominic Toninato - Colton Sceviour

Defensemen

MacKenzie Weegar - Aaron Ekblad

Mike Matheson - Anton Stralman

Keith Yandle - Mark Pysyk

Goalies

Sam Montembeault

Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratches: Josh Brown, Noel Acciari (lower-body), Jayce Hawryluk (upper-body)

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

- Nov. 6: F Dominic Toninato was recalled from AHL Springfield.

- Nov. 6: D Riley Stillman was loaned to AHL Springfield.

HOW TO WATCH / LISTEN

When: Sunday, Nov. 10, 1:00 p.m. ET

Where: Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

TV: FSF

Stream: FOX Sports GO

Panthers Radio Network: 790 WAXY (Dade/Broward); 640 WMEN (Palm Beach); 100.3 WCTH (Florida Keys)

Territory on Tap Locations: HERE

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