Panthers Head Up to the Big Apple to Take on the Rangers
The Florida Panthers fly into the Big Apple to take on the New York Rangers. This will be their first of three meetups this season. Last season, the Panthers held the advantage going 2-0-1 against the Blueshirts. That’s five out of a possible six points.
Tale of the Tape
The Florida Panthers are coming off of a heartbreaking loss at home on Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings in overtime by a score of 4-3. This is the sixth straight one-goal contest they’ve been in and the fourth game they’ve played past regulation. As a result, the Panthers only have five points on the season.
On the bright side, the Panthers still have very talented forwards such as Evgenii Dadonov and Aleksander Barkov. Dadonov leads the team in points and Barkov is second on the team in goals. Do not let this record fool you, the Panthers are a very strong team stocked with talent.
However, they do need to figure out their goal tending problem. Although James Reimer has had success against the Rangers, he has struggled so far this season. Reimer currently holds a 4.26 goals against average and a .867 save percentage. Due to this, Michael Hutchinson will get the nod for this game.
Speaking of changes, coach Bob Boughner has reworked his defensive pairings, splitting his top line of Keith Yandle and Aaron Ekblad.
Despite the fact that the Panthers have only won one game, they are currently on a three-game point streak.
New York (2-5-1)
The New York Rangers are coming off of a beatdown from the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-1. It seems like this team is tanking ever since dealing away certain pieces of their squad. With an extremely slow start for head coach David Quinn, the Rangers should hope this does not transition into the later stages of the season.
Much like their opponent, the Rangers still have deep talent in Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, who is currently tied for the team leader with Mats Zuccarello in points with six.
After Henrik Lundqvist allowed four goals against Calgary, rookie goaltender Alexander Greorgiev will get the nod for this match up.
Mark Pysyk is currently day-to-day with an upper body injury. It is unknown if he will play in this game
Roberto Luongo is still out with an MCL sprain.
Derek Mackenzie is still out with an upper body injury.
Jaime McGinn is still recovering from back surgery.
Michael Haley is still out due to personal issues.
Matt Beleskey is out with a shoulder injury.
Boo Nieves is out with a concussion.
Fredrik Claesson is out with an upper body injury.
Projected lineup (according to NHL.com)
L1: Evgenii Dadonov-Aleksander Barkov-Nick Bjugstad
L2: Johnathan Huberdeau-Vincent Trocheck-Denis Malgin
L3: Frank Vatrano-Jared McCann-Mike Hoffman
L4: Troy Brouwer-Juho Lammiko-Colton Scevior
D1: Keith Yandle-Alexander Petrovic
D2: Michael Matheson-Aaron Ekblad
D3: Mackenzie Weegar-Bogdan Kiselevich
G1: Michael Hutchinson
G2: James Reimer
Scratches: Maxim Mamin
L1: Chris Kreider-Mike Zibanejad-Mats Zuccarello
L2: Filip Chytil-Kevin Hayes-Jesper Fast
L3: Jimmy Vesey-Brett Howden-Pavel Buchnevich
L4: Cody McLeod-Vladislav Namestnikov-Ryan Spooner
D1: Brady Skjei-Adam McQuaid
D2: Brendan Smith-Kevin Shattenkirk
D3: Marc Stall-Neal Poink
G1: Alexander Gerogiev
G2: Henrik Lundqvist
Scratches: Tony DeAngelo, Vinni Lettieri
Follow Joey on Twitter: @JoeyGanzi
Photo Courtesy of The Ranger Zone