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Game #15: Florida Panthers vs New York Rangers Open Thread

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NHL: NOV 17 Panthers at Rangers Photo by David Hahn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After two days off, the Rangers will look to push their winning streak to three games this afternoon, as they’ll host Sasha Barkov, Sergei Bobrovsky, and the rest of the Florida Panthers. Although the Blueshirts were able to escape Raleigh with two points on Thursday, they were thoroughly outplayed by the Hurricanes, and will need a much better effort to defeat a Panthers team eager to wash the taste of yesterday’s 2-1 defeat to the Islanders out of their mouth.

With Marc Staal sidelined for the next couple of weeks, Brady Skjei is set to draw back into the lineup for today’s matinee contest. David Quinn spoke to the media following yesterday’s practice in Central Park, and also confirmed that Henrik Lundqvist will make his third consecutive start. Having stopped 80 out of the 83 shots he’s been pelted with in his last two starts, it makes sense to continue riding the hot hand.

Player to Watch: Artemiy Panarin

Over the summer, Bobrovsky and Panarin were expected to choose their free agency destination as a package deal. With both players exiting Columbus following the franchise’s first playoff series win, it appeared that the Russian duo would join forces in Sunrise, Florida. Although Bobrovsky ended up as Roberto Luongo’s successor in goal, Panarin opted against joining his companion in Florida, and joined the Rangers on a seven year pact. As he’s currently in the midst of a seven game point streak, (4-6-10 dating back to October 24th) look for Panarin to make an impact against one of the teams that fell short in their free agency bid for his services.

Enjoy the game! Or don’t, there’s a very big football game going on at the same time that’s sure to keep New Yorkers interested in that outcome.