The Blueshirts are in Sunrise, Florida where they look to sweep the season series with the Panthers (5:00 on MSG).

RangersNHL RankingsPanthers
6thNHL Standing Rank18th
12th GF/PG4th

Previous Game

               The Rangers are coming off a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. On Tuesday, the Blueshirts lost a one goal game to the Hurricanes in New York, but they answered with a one goal victory in Carolina on Thursday. Artemi Panarin recorded a goal and assist as he recorded yet another multi-point game.

               “In the third, it was excellent,” said head coach Gerard Gallant. “I have seen a lot of good things and we competed well. I thought we competed well for 60 minutes, but the last 20 was the way we can play.”

               In a 1-1 game, the Rangers broke the tie with a goal by Adam Fox. Fox’s goal was his first since January 23rd which happened to come against Saturday evening’s opponents.

Rangers vs Panthers

               The Rangers will look to continue their recent strong play against a desperate Panthers team. The Panthers sit just one point behind the Penguins for the final playoff spot in the East. With the Penguins losing starting goaltender Tristan Jarry indefinitely due a lower-body injury, the door has been opened completely for the Panthers to make the playoffs as a wildcard team.

               Trying to lead the way for the Panthers is this past offseason’s newest acquisition in Matthew Tkachuk. Tkachuk was traded to Florida in the offseason in the deal that sent Jonathan Huberdeau to Calgary. The 25-year-old has 97 points on the season and is just seven shy of his career high of 104 set last season. Tkachuk has been on a tear as of late and he is doing everything he can to get the Panthers into the post season. The former sixth-overall pick is on a seven-game point streak including 16 points in those games. In addition, Tkachuk is currently on a six-game goal scoring streak.

               One player whose status is up in the air to defend against the fourth-highest point scorer in the league is Ryan Lindgren. Lindgren made his return to the lineup on Tuesday against the Hurricanes after missing the previous eleven games. However, Lindgren tweaked his injury on Tuesday and was surprisingly unavailable on Thursday. The Rangers want Lindgren to be fully healthy and available come playoff time. Lindgren was cleared to play by the medical staff in the previous game, but was held out to be safe.

               “Gotta make sure he (Lindgren) is ready,” Gallant said.

               If Lindgren is available, expect the defender to join Adam Fox on the top line. However, if he isn’t Niko Mikkola will continue to play with Fox while Ben Harpur will join Braden Schneider.

               Florida is currently leaning heavy on starting netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. 21-year-old goaltender Spencer Knight is currently out indefinitely as he is presently in the National Hockey League Player Assistant Program. Knight was splitting time with Bobrovsky in net prior to going into the program to receive care and treatment. Bobrovsky is currently 24-18-3 on the season with a .902 save percentage. The Russian netminder has played in 17 of the last 18 games.

               One way the Rangers will look to take advantage of the Panthers is on the power-play. The Blueshirts are still looking to work out the kinks of their new power-play as they take on the 27th ranked penalty killing group in the league. The Rangers have also had a lot of success against the Panthers with the man-advantage this season. New York has scored three power-play goals on five attempts against Florida this season.

               While it is not confirmed who will start in goal for the Rangers on Saturday, it is worth mentioning the recent strong play of starting netminder Igor Shesterkin. In his last seven games, Shesterkin is 6-1-0 with a .942 save percentage. In those games, Shesterkin has allowed just 13 goals which puts his goals-against average below two. The Russian goaltender has struggled at points this season, but he appears to be finding his game at just the right time as the playoffs near.

Projected Lineup










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