The Rangers are set to host the league-leading Florida Panthers in the final game before the all-star break (7:00 P.M. EST, ESPN+).

RangersNHL RankingsPanthers
5thNHL Standing Rank1st

Previous Game

               The Rangers used a last-minute goal by K’Andre Miller to survive the Seattle Kraken. Fortunately for the Rangers, they managed to grind out two points in a game they were second-best all afternoon. It’s been a tough stretch for the Blueshirts who have played very inconsistently and have blown multiple multi-goal leads.

After just five minutes into the second period, the New York found themselves up 2-0 on goals from Mika Zibanejad and Alexis Lafreniere. But like the previous two games, the opposing team found a way back into the game and Seattle managed to tie the game with 1:08 remaining in the third period. Luckily, Miller was there to save the day.

Following the game, Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant was asked by the media after the game what his thoughts were about what transpired. “I think it was awful. I’m not too happy.” The Blueshirts were outshot 42-24 by a Seattle team that has struggled mightily this season.


               The Blueshirts will have to play much better if they want Tuesday night’s game to be competitive. The game against the Panthers will be their final one for two weeks due to the all-star break and original scheduling. Originally, Chris Kreider, Adam Fox, and Mika Zibanejad were all slated to represent the Rangers. With Fox injured and Zibanejad declining due to personal reasons, only Kreider will represent the Blueshirts. The next game will come on February 15th, against the Boston Bruins.

Expect more line changes on Tuesday night as Gallant tries to find something he likes and thinks he can rely on.

               “I’ve gone back and forth way too much (on changing lines),” Gallant said. “And it’s not because that’s what I want to do. It’s because sometimes that’s what you have to do….”

               Alexis Lafreniere played Sunday afternoon’s game on his off-wing on the top line with Chris Kreider and Zibanejad. Lafreniere was asked by the media on Monday if he thinks he can handle the right wing on a more long-term basis.

               “Of course, it’s a little change, but it’s nothing crazy,” Lafreniere said. “I think I can adjust. I’m good enough to adjust and play on my right side.”

               Lafreniere won’t get that opportunity to start Tuesday’s game against the Panthers as he is expected to be on the third line with the returning Filip Chytil and Julien Gauthier. Chytil has missed a little over a week due to an injury but practiced on Monday. Chytil has a strong chance of returning to the lineup on Tuesday.

               Barclay Goodrow will join the Kreider and Zibanejad on the top line. The logic behind this move is that the Panthers are a high-scoring team at even strength and Goodrow is one of their best defensive forwards.

               Morgan Barron has been recalled to the active roster and he has a chance to play on Tuesday night. Barron currently has one point in eight games this season.


               Florida is coming off an impressive 8-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night. The Blue Jackets overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat the Rangers less than a week ago. The good news for the Rangers is that this is the second leg of a back-to-back for the Panthers.

                With Sergei Bobrovsky starting against his former team on Monday, expect goaltender Spencer Knight to get the nod for the Panthers. The Rangers handed Knight his first career regulation loss earlier this season in a 4-3 win at Madison Square Garden.

               Sam Bennett is currently riding a hot streak as he has 10 goals in the past 10 games. The former fourth overall pick was acquired by the Panthers in a trade involving draft picks and forward Emil Heineman. Bennett currently has 30 points in 36 games including 21 goals.

               Leading the NHL in points is Jonathan Huberdeau. Huberdeau has 63 points in 46 games played. The 28-year-old makes up the Panthers’ top line with Aleksander Barkov and former Ranger Anthony Duclair. Limiting Huberdeau’s opportunities will be one of the top priorities for the Blueshirts defense which will be missing the reigning Norris winner Adam Fox for the third straight game.

Keys to the Game

               In order for the Rangers to win this game, there will have to be a lot of contributions. Winning on special teams will go a long way as the Panthers are relentless at even strength. Igor Shesterkin who is slated to get the start will have to be brilliant once again. Lastly, the Rangers have to make sure they get pucks in deep. Florida plays extremely quickly and any neutral zone turnover could end up in the back of the net.

Projected Lineup









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