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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, October 17th (All times eastern)

Florida Panthers (4-2-0) at New York Rangers (3-1-2), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers seek their third consecutive victory tonight when they welcome the Florida Panthers to Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts ended a three-game losing streak with Thursday's 4-1 overtime win against New Jersey, then continued their success with Saturday's 5-1 pounding of Atlanta.

In Saturday's game at MSG, Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves and Martin Rucinsky had a goal and an assist to lead the Rangers to the rout of the Thrashers.

Michael Nylander also had a goal and an assist for the Rangers, who finished 1-for-4 on the power play.

Marcel Hossa added a pair of assists and Jaromir Jagr had a helper for the Blueshirts, who have recorded at least one point in five of its first six games this season (3-1-2).

Jagr leads the Rangers with eight points, and his four goals are tied with Rucinsky for the club high.

Lundqvist has stood in for goaltender Kevin Weekes in the last two games, as the latter nurses a groin injury. Weekes will likely be available as the backup this evening but is expected to re-gain his starter's role when completely healthy.

The Rangers will host the Islanders on Wednesday.

Florida, meanwhile, is the early leader in the Southeast Division race at 4-2-0. On Saturday, Olli Jokinen scored the winning goal on the power-play with 1:07 left in the third period, lifting the Panthers to a 3-2 home victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

Nathan Horton and Martin Gelinas also scored, while Mike Van Ryn assisted on all three goals for the Panthers. Roberto Luongo finished with 32 saves for the Cats, as he made his sixth straight start to begin the season.

On the injury front, the Panthers are expected to be without forwards Gary Roberts (groin) and Chris Gratton (hamstring) tonight.

Florida will head across the Hudson River to visit the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

The Rangers went 2-1-1 against the Panthers in 2003-04 and are 8-2-1 in the last 11 meetings.

10/17 10:23:18 ET


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