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The Rangers will face-off against the Florida Panthers tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to begin a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank first in the league overall, with a record of 24-9-4 (52 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-2, on Monday in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and have won seven of their last eight games. New York has posted a record of 21-6-2 since Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Panthers enter the contest with a 20-12-7 (47 pts) record to rank third in the Eastern Conference, and have lost each of their last four road games. This will be the second meeting in six days between the Rangers and Panthers, with New York having defeated Florida, 4-1, on Friday at BankAtlantic Center to take a 2-1-0 series lead. Following tonight's contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, Jan. 6, at CONSOL Energy Center (7:00 p.m.), to conclude their back-to-back set. Download complete game notes >>
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Tonight's game will be televised on MSG Network with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. You can also catch the radio broadcast on 1050 ESPN Radio and on satellite radio at XM 213.Rangers vs. Panthers Pregame Notes
* The Rangers have won seven of their last 10 games against the Panthers, having outscored Florida, 28-14, over the span.
* New York ranks 14th with an 11-3-2 (24 pts) record at home; Florida ranks eighth with a 10-8-2 (22 pts) mark on the road.
* The Rangers have posted an 8-2-1 record vs. Southeast Division opponents; the Panthers are 5-4-1 vs. the Atlantic Division.
* Henrik Lundqvist
has posted a 14-7-1 record with a 1.74 GAA and five shutouts in 22 career regular season contests vs. Florida; Martin Biron
is 7-12-1-0 with a 2.68 GAA in 21 career regular season games vs. the Panthers.
* Brad Richards
leads the Rangers with 16 goals, 27 assists and 43 points in 49 career regular season contests vs. Florida; Derek Stepan
has tallied five goals and six points in seven career regular season games vs. the Panthers.
* The Rangers list one former Panther on their roster: Steve Eminger
* Florida lists one former Ranger on its roster: Mikael Samuelsson (2001-02 to 2002-03). All Time -- Rangers vs. Panthers
At MSG: 20-13-4-0
At Florida: 20-13-2-42011-12 Rangers vs. Florida
Nov. 23 Rangers 1, Panthers 2 at Florida
Dec. 11 Rangers 6, Panthers 1 at MSG
Dec. 30 Rangers 4. Panthers 1 at Florida
Jan. 5 Rangers vs. Panthers at MSGUpcoming Regular-Season Schedule
Jan. 5 Rangers vs. Florida, 7 p.m.
Jan. 6 Rangers at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Jan. 10 Rangers vs. Phoenix, 7 p.m.
Jan. 12 Rangers vs. Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Jan. 14 Rangers at Toronto, 7 p.m.Injuries
* Wojtek Wolski has missed 26 games due to a groin injury, suffered on Nov. 3.
* Michael Sauer
has missed 14 games due to a concussion, suffered on Dec. 5.
* Steve Eminger
has missed seven games with a shoulder injury, suffered on Dec. 17.
* The Rangers have lost 118 total man-games to injuries or illness this season.