“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” And you might want to stay away from Madison Square Garden’s ice too!
Coming into their game against the Panthers, the Blueshirts have won an astounding eight-straight at home and four consecutive overall. Going back further, the Rangers have won 10 of 12 and 12 of 16.
Memories of their 3-7-2 start are fading fast and grow dimmer by the minute.
This is the second time these teams have met this month, with the Blueshirts winning the first game 5-4 in overtime; courtesy of Kevin Shattenkirk.
It will be a special evening as the Rangers are celebrating Hockey Fights Cancer Month and are hosting a ceremony prior to the game.
The ceremony will inspire everybody in attendance and the home team is sure to feed off that energy throughout the game.
DEEP ROOTED CONNECTIONS
Steven Kampfer spent parts of three seasons with the Panthers (2014-15 – 2016-17).
Keith Yandle spent part of two seasons in New York (2014-15 & 2015-16).
Lindy Ruff began his NHL coaching career as an Assistant Coach for the Panthers (1993-94 – 1996-97).
Roberto Luongo and Henrik Lundqvist rank first and second, respectively, among active NHL goaltenders in several categories: career appearances, career wins and career shutouts.
The Rangers have secured at least one point in 12 of 13 games against Florida dating back to the start of the 2013-14 season (10-1-2 record).
The Blueshirts are 8-1-2 in their last 11 home games against the Panthers; going back to March 22, 2011.
Henrik Lundqvist’s next victory will tie him with Tony Esposito for second most career wins with a single franchise (418).
Nick Holden: His next point will be the 100th of his career.
Chris Kreider: Two more assists will give him 100 for his career.
PLAYER TO WATCH
PANTHERS: VINCENT TROCHECK. Four-points in his last five make Vincent the man with the hot hand in Florida’s lineup. Trocheck leads the team in goals (9) and is tied for the team lead in points (22). (Stats subject to change as Florida is playing New Jersey tonight.)
RANGERS: JIMMY VESEY. The man of the hour. He scored the game-tying and game-winning goals against Vancouver, giving him two multi-goal games in his last eight. The other was against Boston. (For record keeping purposes Vesey does not get credit for the game-winning because it occurred in a shootout.)
Ryan McDonagh remains without a timetable to return from his abdominal strain, so the defensive pairings will remain the same.
Boo Nieves missed Sunday’s game with a hip-pointer injury, but did briefly skate during pregame warmups. He could be a game-time decision.
Henrik Lundqvist is set to make his 13th consecutive start and the rest of the lineup should remain the same.
WHERE TO WATCH
The game will be broadcast on MSG Network at 7pm ET. For in-game coverage check out our Twitter account @NYRBlueBulletin.
Consecutive overtime/shootout victories have the 7th Avenue Skaters flying-high. That coupled with an eight-game home winning-streak has boosted the team’s confidence. And there’s nothing more dangerous than a confident team.