The Rangers face-off against the Florida Panthers tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in the first of two consecutive games at MSG against Southeast Division opponents. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 15-12-2 (32 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the New Jersey Devils, 3-2, on Tuesday at Prudential Center, to complete a sweep of their back-to-back set. The Blueshirts have won four of their last five home games. The Panthers enter the contest with an 8-16-6 (22 pts) record to rank 15th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost six of their last seven games. Following tonight's contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, Mar. 24, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.).
Tune in Tonight
Tonight's game will be televised on MSG with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. You can also catch the radio broadcast on ESPN New York (FM 98.7)and on satellite radio at XM 213.
Rangers vs. Panthers Pregame Notes
* The Rangers were 3-1-0 overall (2-0-0 mark at home; 1-1-0 mark on the road) against Florida in the 2011-12 sesaon. The Rangers outscored the Panthers, 14-6, in the series. The Blueshirts' power play was 3-for-11 (27.3 percent), while the penalty kill was 15-for-16 (93.8 percent) in four games. Derek Stepan tallied series-highs in goals (three) and points (five) in four games, while Ryan McDonagh led all skaters with three assists. Henrik Lundqvist was 2-1-0 with a 1.34 goals-against average and .954 save percentage, and Martin Biron was 1-0-0 with a 1.89 goals-against average and .905 save percentage.
* The Rangers have won eight of their last 11 games against the Panthers, having outscored Florida, 31-16, over the span.
* New York is tied for ninth in the NHL with a 10-5-1 (21 pts) record at home; Florida ranks 24th in the NHL with a 4-8-1 (9 pts) mark on the road.
* The Rangers are 6-2-0 vs. the Southeast Division this season; the Panthers are 3-3-0 vs. the Atlantic Division this season.
* The Rangers list one former Panther on their roster: Steve Eminger (2008-09).
* Florida lists one former Ranger on its roster: Alex Kovalev (1992-93 to 1998-99, 2002-03 to 2003-04).
All Time -- Rangers vs. Panthers
At MSG: 21-13-4-0
At Florida: 20-13-2-4
2011-12 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 3, Panthers 2 (OT) at MSG
2013 Rangers vs. Florida
March 21 Rangers vs. Panthers at MSG
April 18 Rangers vs. Panthers at MSG
April 23 Rangers vs. Panthers at Florida
Upcoming Regular-Season Schedule
March 21 Rangers vs. Panthers, 7 p.m.
March 24 Rangers vs. Washington, 7 p.m.
March 26 Rangers at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
March 28 Rangers at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
March 30 Rangers at Montreal, 7 p.m.
* Marc Staal has missed eight games with an injury, suffered on March 5.
* Arron Asham has missed 14 games with an injury.
* Michael Sauer has missed 29 games due to a concussion, suffered on Dec. 5, 2011.
* The Rangers have lost 74 total man-games to injuries or illness this season.
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