New York Rangers Game Thread: 12/31, Rangers at Panthers

Time to start a new winning streak! Right? Right?

Game Thirty-Five, the New York Rangers at the Florida Panthers
Record: 19-11-4

Rangers vs Panthers coverage | NYR roster | Litter Box Cats

6:00 start? What devilry is this?

The Rangers' thrilling winning streak coming to an end in Dallas isn't the first time something has lost itself after entering a state best known for ribs, threats of secession, and stores that exclusively sell boots, rope, and cowboy hats. Tonight the Rangers will play the Florida Panthers in their last game of 2014.

The Panthers are a bad team, right? Well, no... no they're not. The Panthers are 16-9-8 this season, which gives them 40 points in 33 games. The Rangers have 42 points in 34 games. With that being said, the Panthers are just not be as strong as their record suggests they are. They are a team with a lot of holes in their lineup that struggles to score, which shouldn't come as a surprise when you look at their lineup and their lack of true star players. The Rangers will have to put Dallas behind them and look to come away with 2 more points taken away from a team in the East to finish 2014 on a high note.

The New York Rangers' December Schedule

12/1 Tampa Bay at the Rangers, 7:00 (loss)
12/6 Rangers at Detroit, 7:00 (loss)
12/8 Penguins at Rangers, 7:00 (win)
12/13 Rangers at Vancouver, 10:00 (win)
12/14 Rangers at Edmonton, 9:30 (win)
12/16 Rangers at Calgary, 9:00 (win)
12/20 Rangers at Carolina, 7:00 (win)
12/21 Carolina at Rangers, 7:00 (win)
12/23 Capitals at Rangers, 7:00 (win)
12/27 Devils at Rangers, 7:00 (win)
12/29 Rangers at Dallas, 8:30 (loss... crap)
12/31 Rangers at Florida, 6:00

Mike's Player to Watch: Kevin Hayes

Hayes had a deflection goal against the Stars on the 29th, his fifth goal of the season, and he has been a very interesting Ranger to watch this season. Hayes has never been a healthy scratch despite there being a game of musical chairs in the Rangers' bottom six. He is in direct competition with JT Miller for ice time and the role of Rangers' third line center and thus far Hayes has won that battle outright. As we approach the halfway point of the season, the Rangers are going to need to turn to their depth scoring more often and Hayes is one of those guys that has the goods to deliver some points. He'll be playing a very young lineup tonight at Florida, here's hoping he is one of the players that draws the most attention playing against a slew of promising players that are close to him in age. He'll also be playing against his brother Jimmy Hayes, so that is something that we'll likely hear Sam and Joe talk about for the entirety of the game.

Hope you guys enjoy tonight's game. Let's go Rangers. Happy New Year!!!!