Opening Faceoff – Rangers vs. Panthers 11/28/17

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USA Today

The Rangers have won eight straight games at Madison Square Garden, and tonight they will look to make it nine against the Florida Panthers.

The Rangers played the Florida Panthers at the beginning of the month down in Sunrise and came out of the BB&T Center with a 5-4 win in overtime. The Rangers enter this one after Sunday’s 4-3 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The Rangers did not play a complete game in any sense, and when asked about his team’s play, he had this to say.

“The third period was our best. It was a little bit of a slow start,” Rick Nash said.”Good teams find ways to win when they don’t play their best. We found a way to do that.”

Although the Rangers won, they know they will have to play a better game against the Panthers.

Keys to Victory

Special Teams – The Panthers have the third worst penalty kill in the NHL at 74.3%, and average roughly ten minutes in penalties per game. The Rangers will take their tenth ranked power play and hope to capitalize on any opportunity that comes their way. The Florida Panthers also have a sub-par power play ranked at 15.6%, which also is third worst in the league. The Rangers penalty kill ranks 12th in the NHL and will need to stay up at that level for the Rangers to have success throughout the season.

Henrik Lundqvist – Henrik Lundqvist has been exceptional of late, and he will be tested against the Panthers. The Panthers shoot an average of 34.5 pucks a game, good for sixth in the NHL. Henrik has had to stop a lot of rubber in the month of November, making 328 saves on 351 shots, good for third-best amongst NHL goaltenders.

Players to Watch

New York Rangers

Chris Kreider – The Rangers power forward has been on fire lately. In his last six games, Kreider has tallied three goals and two assists for five points and has been using his speed in all situations.

Brady Skjei – The sophomore defenseman has been evolving before our eyes this season. He has improved his defensive game, which was solid, to begin with. He is becoming more confident in his skating and has been using that skill to rush the puck up the ice and create chances for his teammates.

Florida Panthers

Vincent Trocheck – The “vertically challenged” Trocheck has been nothing but come up big for the Panthers. He was an all-star last season, and is on a point-per-game pace this

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season, with 23 points (10G, 13A) in 23 games. Trocheck has scored six points in the last seven games, so the Blueshirts will definitely need to keep an eye on the Pittsburgh native.

Keith Yandle – A former Rangers defenseman, Yandle was traded to the Panthers in the summer before the 2016-17 season. An offensive-defenseman, Yandle is the perfect defenseman to run a power play. Yandle leads the Florida defense with 11 points on the season, including two points in his last four games.

Puck drops at 7!

LETS GO RANGERS!!