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Game Notes: Rangers vs. Florida Panthers

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Tonight's Game

The Rangers face-off against the Florida Panthers tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.) in the second game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts are currently in third place in the Atlantic Division standings with a record of 31-24-8, and rank sixth in the Eastern Conference with 70 points. New York enters the contest having defeated the Sabres, 4-3, yesterday at the HSBC Center and have now earned at least one point in six straight contests (4-0-2). The Rangers have posted a 4-5-2 record in the second game of a back-to-back set, and are 4-2-1 when winning the first game of the set this season. Following today's match, the Rangers will travel to Carolina to face-off against the Hurricanes, Thursday, February 28, at the RBC Center (7:00 p.m.). The Panthers, 28-29-7, are currently tied for second place in the Southeast Division standings with 63 points and have lost three of their last four games.

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Tune In Tonight!
Tonight's game will be televised on FSN-NY. You can also catch the radio broadcast on WABC (770 AM).

Rangers vs. Panthers Pre-Game Notes:

* The Rangers are 19-13-0 at MSG this season; The Panthers have posted a 16-17-1 record in 34 road contests.

* The Rangers are 8-5-3 against the Southeast Division this season; The Panthers have posted a 7-8-0 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents this season.

* In their last 12 games, the Blueshirts have registered 11 goals in 49 power play opportunities for a success rate of 22.4%.

* New York has surrendered just three power play goals in their last nine contests at MSG.
The Rangers have posted a record of 4-2-1 in the second game of back-to-back sets after winning the first game of the set this season.

* The Blueshirts have won six of their last seven meetings vs. Florida at MSG, posting a 6-1-0 record and outscoring the Panthers, 25-10, over the span.

* New York has posted a 13-3-1-3 record in the last 20 games vs. the Panthers.

* Henrik Lundqvist is 1-0-0 with a 2.00 goals against average and a .931 save percentage in one game against Florida this season; Steve Valiquette has posted a 1.85 goals against average with a .943 save percentage in one shootout loss.

* In season series vs. the Panthers, Chris Drury leads the team with five points (three goals and two assists) in two games and Marek Malik has collected three assists in one game.

* In six career appearances vs. the Panthers, Lundqvist has posted a record of 5-1-0 with a 1.96 goals against average and two shutouts.

* Jaromir Jagr has collected 62 points (29 goals and 33 assists) in 51 career games vs. Florida; Brendan Shanahan has registered 30 points (nine goals and 21 assists) in 26 career games vs. the Panthers; Martin Straka has registered 38 points (15 goals and 23 assists) in 42 career games vs. Florida.

* Jagr tallied four assists on Tuesday at Montreal, passing Ray Bourque for 10th place on the NHL's all-time scoring list; In 1,254 NHL games, he has registered 637 goals and 945 assists for 1,582 points.

* The Rangers held their annual Casino Night fund-raising event on Thursday at New York's Gotham Hall; More than 600 people attended the event, which raised approximately $270,000 for Garden of Dreams.

* Carl Hagelin, the Rangers' sixth round pick (168th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, has registered seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points and a plus-14 rating in 28 games with the University of Michigan Wolverines of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this season; The first-year player is tied for seventh on the team in assists (10) and points (17).

* The Rangers' roster lists one former Panther; Martin Straka (1995-96 to 1996-97).

* The Panthers' roster lists two former Rangers; Radek Dvorak (1999-00 to 2002-03) and Garth Murray (2003-04).

All-Time - Rangers vs. Panthers
Overall: 31-19-6-3
At MSG: 16-9-4-0
At Florida: 15-10-2-3

2007-08 – Rangers vs. Panthers
Oct. 4 Rangers 5, Panthers 2 at MSG
Nov. 23 Rangers 2, Panthers 3 (SO) at Florida
Feb. 24 Rangers vs. Panthers at MSG
March 14 Rangers vs. Panthers at Florida

Upcoming Regular Season Schedule
Feb. 24 Rangers vs. Florida, 7 p.m.
Feb. 28 Rangers at Carolina, 7 p.m.
March 2 Rangers vs. Philadelphia, 12:30 p.m.
March 4 Rangers vs. N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
March 6 Rangers at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.

Recent New York Rangers Games
Last 5 NYR games: 3-0-2
Last 10 NYR games: 6-2-2

* Petr Prucha suffered a shoulder injury on Feb. 10 at Washington, and has missed four games.

* The Rangers have lost 113 manpower games due to injury or illness this season.

Highlights from Hartford
Follow the progress of the Rangers' top prospects:

The Wolf Pack rebounded for a 5-2 victory last night at home over their in-state adversaries the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Islanders affiliate), after they saw a streak of at least a standings point in nine consecutive home outings (7-0-1-1) snapped in a 6-1 loss to league-leading Providence (Boston affiliate) on Thursday.  The Pack won in Lowell (New Jersey affiliate), 2-1, on Wednesday night, but had an unbeaten-in-regulation run of 12 straight games (9-0-2-1 affiliate) broken last Sunday at Bridgeport, in a 4-1 defeat.  The Wolf Pack are back in Lowell today (4:05), then are off until Friday (7:00), when they host the Norfolk Admirals (Tampa Bay affiliate).

Individual highlights of the Pack's recent games included:

Ivan Baranka notched PP-GWG with 2:13 left in regulation Wednesday in Lowell, in 2-1 Wolf Pack win.

Dane Byers surpassed his own Wolf Pack season high by scoring for a fifth straight game (6-1-7) in last Sunday’s 4-1 loss at Bridgeport. He registered a pair of assists in Wednesday’s 2-1 win at Lowell and has points in seven of his last eight games (6-4-10). Byers has registered 8-8-16 in his last 13 outings.
Andrew Hutchinson returned to action on Saturday night vs. Bridgeport, after missing the previous three games due to injury, and netted a PPG in the Wolf Pack’s 5-2 win. He leads all AHL defensemen in points (47) and has points in five straight games (5-4-9) and eight of his last nine (5-8-13).

Lauri Korpikoski bagged a pair of goals, and put a game-high five shots on net, in First-Star performance on Saturday night against Bridgeport.

P.A. Parenteau tallied GWG and added an assist (Third Star) in Saturday evening’s 5-2 win vs. Bridgeport. He has points in six straight games (5-5-10) and 10 of his last 11 (8-7-15), and ranks tied for fifth in the AHL in point-scoring (58).

Corey Potter earned Second-Star honors in Saturday night’s victory over Bridgeport, with a goal and a plus-3. At a plus-24, Potter stands second among AHL defensemen and third overall in the league.

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