by Patrick Hoffman on 11/28/08 at 02:30 PM ET
The New York Rangers continue their two-game road trip in the South with a matchup against the Florida Panthers tonight at the BankAtlantic Center. A win would give them 36 points on the season and a chance to keep their lead in the Eastern Conference.
One would have to expect that Rangers’ head coach Tom Renney will implement the same lineup he used on Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which includes keeping the line of Markus Naslund, Brandon Dubinsky and Nikolai Zherdev together.
Last season, the Blueshirts were 2-1-1 against the Panthers. This season, the Panthers have struggled under new coach Peter Deboer, going 8-11-2 with a minus- 12 goal differential, scoring just 48 times in 21 games and allowing 60 goals.
With that being said, the Rangers cannot take this game for granted, something they have been known to do against lesser teams. They will need to get strong goaltending (Will it be Henrik Lundqvist or Stephen Valiquette?), play a sound defensive game and continue to throw pucks at the net. The team was able to do this on Wednesday night to their advantage so there is no reason why they cannot do it again tonight against the Panthers.
The team will also have to keep an eye on Panthers’ forward David Booth. Booth has scored 11 goals this year (scored 22 last season) and has three goals in three straight games and seven goals in his last eight contests.
After tonight’s tilt, the two teams will meet again on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. These are four points that the Rangers should pick up with relative ease.
Then again, who said the Rangers like to make things easy?
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: brandon+dubinsky, david+booth, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, markus+naslund, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, peter+deboer, stephen+valiquette, tampa+bay+lightning, tom+renney
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.