Rangers-Panthers Preview

Friday night in Sunrise, FL the Rangers (22-9-4, 48 pts) look to bounce back from Wednesday's 4-1 loss in Washington when they skate against the Panthers (19-11-7, 45 pts) in a battle of division leaders. The Rangers sit atop the Atlantic Division standings, while Florida has a four-point lead in the Southeast Division over the Winnipeg Jets. Despite allowing four goals on Wednesday, the Rangers still have the second stingiest team defense in the NHL this season, having surrendered only 76 goals so far. Wednesday's game marked only the second time in the past ten games that the Blueshirts have allowed more than two goals. The Rangers will have to contend with three very gifted offensive players tonight, and a very skilled offensive-minded defense corps in Floirida. Kris Versteeg (38 points), Tomas Flieschmann (32) and Stephen Weiss (32) have all had big years so far for the Panthers up front, while Brian Campbell's 30 points are second most of all NHL defensemen. Rangers' sniper Marian Gaborik enters play with 22 goals, second most in the league, while Michael Del Zotto's 21 points are among the league-leaders with defensemen. Tonight marks the third meeting this season between these two teams, with the Rangers having lost 2-1 back on November 23rd in Florida before routing the Panthers 6-1 at The Garden on December 11th. Share your predictions on the game below.