by Patrick Hoffman on 12/30/11 at 11:13 AM ET
The New York Rangers are set to take on the Florida Panthers, a much improved hockey club this season, tonight at 7:30 p.m.
The Blueshirts are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals. It was a game that with a better effort and more of a finishing touch, the team probably could have won.
On the other side, the Panthers are coming off a 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. The Cats are third in the Eastern Conference with 45 points and are having one of their best seasons in franchise history.
For the Rangers, this will be a tuneup game for them as they get set to focus on the upcoming 2012 Winter Classic game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday, January 2. With that said, this is a tuneup game that the team cannot afford to take lightly.
The Panthers are a team that will take advantage of defensive miscues and are also a club that knows how to put the puck in the net on a regular basis. This is not the same old Panthers’ hockey team that likes to play in low-scoring games.
The Blueshirts will need to bury their chances tonight and get on the Panthers’ early. The Florida Panthers have become a tough team to play against at home as they are 9-3-5 on home ice.
This should be a great game to watch as the 2nd (Rangers) and 3rd (Panthers) best teams in the Eastern Conference go at it.
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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.