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Keeping The Emotional Level High

Friday, 02.13.2009 / 11:20 AM / 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 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 63 22 16 -8 38
J. Huberdeau 60 9 27 4 36
J. Jokinen 62 6 28 0 34
A. Ekblad 63 10 23 8 33
B. Boyes 61 11 21 9 32
J. Jagr 59 12 19 -9 31
J. Hayes 54 17 10 -5 27
B. Campbell 63 3 20 3 23
A. Barkov 52 10 12 -4 22
T. Fleischmann 52 7 14 12 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .920 2.40
A. Montoya 5 6 2 .891 2.98
 
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