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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 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 51 17 21 14 38
J. Jokinen 54 11 27 12 38
J. Huberdeau 54 10 28 12 38
V. Trocheck 54 17 18 3 35
A. Barkov 43 16 19 13 35
R. Smith 54 18 16 12 34
B. Pirri 50 11 13 -4 24
A. Ekblad 50 10 13 20 23
B. Campbell 54 5 17 20 22
N. Bjugstad 39 9 10 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 24 13 5 .928 2.17
A. Montoya 8 3 1 .929 2.01

 
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