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Keeping The Emotional Level High

Friday, 02.13.2009 / 11:20 AM ET / Preview
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Keeping The Emotional Level High
The Panthers and Rangers meet for the third time this season. New York won 4-3 in the shootout the last time the two teams played at BankAtlantic Center on November 28th. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

SUNRISE – When they take the ice tonight at BankAtlantic Center against the New York Rangers, the Panthers will be three points – that’s right, only three points – out of fourth in the Eastern Conference.

Coming off emotional victories this week Tuesday against Toronto and Thursday at Carolina, the Panthers will play a Rangers team above them in the standings and one seeking to break a five-game winless streak on the road.

“You’re always concerned with back-to-back games,” said Panther coach Peter DeBoer between meetings Friday morning. “We knew the importance of last night’s game (in Carolina), and it’s not like we’re playing a team tonight that’s below us in the standings.

“We’ve got to get our emotional level right back up to where it was last night.”

The Panthers are 11-3-3 since Jan. 1 and 20-8-7 in their last 35 games. And of the 17 times the Panthers have scored four or more goals this season, 10 of those have come in their last 17 games.

“We’re healthy,” DeBoer said. “The entire first half of the season, through Christmas, we battled injuries at different times with some of our key people. We’re healthy now and we’re able to get some chemistry.”

Goalie Tomas Vokoun’s 42-save performance and fourth shutout of the season earned him one of the NHL’s top three stars Thursday evening in the Panthers 5-0 victory over the Hurricanes. Vokoun is 5-5-1 lifetime against the Rangers with a 2.79 goals against.

The Panthers won at Carolina 5-0 after first period goals from Nathan Horton and Richard Zednik 5:18 apart, and second period goals from Anthony Stewart and Gregory Campbell 12 seconds apart. Michael Frolik also scored.

“I thought (Carolina) came out and controlled play the first 10 minutes of the second period,” DeBoer said. “I thought Stewart’s and Campbell’s goals really backed them off.”

Although he switched line in the third period of Tuesday’s 5-4 victory over Toronto – putting Horton, David Booth and Stephen Weiss back together – DeBoer had Horton back Thursday centering Zednik and Booth and Weiss centering Cory Stillman and Frolik.

“We’ve stayed with the regular lines other than that one period against Toronto,” DeBoer said. “The regular lines had given us points in 11 of 13 games, and we need depth at center with Nathan.”

The Rangers come into tonight’s game off a 5-4 shootout victory Wednesday against the Capitals to break an 0-4-1 skid and had scored just five goals during that stretch. The Rangers were credited with being more physical during the game.

“When things are going tough like they have been for us, that’s how you get out of it and put other teams back on their heels, by playing more physical,” said goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who is 7-3 lifetime against the Panthers with a 2.15 goals against.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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