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Florida
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35-31-16
New York
Rangers
42-30-10

24 SOG
37 SOG
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Panthers-Rangers Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Associated Press

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Panthers-Rangers Preview
Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers

New York Rangers left wing Brendan Shanahan is off to a fast start with his new team. He'll look to continue his success against a team New York has dominated lately.

Shanahan and the Rangers look to defeat the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden for the fifth straight time when the teams meet Wednesday.

New York (4-4-0) defeated Toronto 5-4 on Saturday - its second win in three games - behind Shanahan's winning goal in the third round of a shootout.

"It's been a lot of fun," said Shanahan, who spent his last nine seasons with Detroit. "I really like the group that we have in the dressing room. The coaching staff has used me in a variety of different roles, not just as a goal scorer. It's great to be involved like that."

The 19-year veteran scored his eighth goal of the season on Saturday. He had 40 goals last season - his most since 1999-2000.

"He's not 27. He's 37 and he's smart," Rangers coach Tom Renney said. "His presence in the dressing room, on the bench and on the ice is fairly formidable. He's a calming influence in a lot of ways. You have a strong man in a lot of ways wearing our colors and a lot of guys appreciate that."

The Rangers are just 2-3 at home this season, but have won eight of their last 10 against the Panthers (4-5-1) at Madison Square Garden, including the last four meetings there.

They also went 3-0-1 overall against Florida last season, and have just four losses in their last 20 games against the Panthers since 2000-01.

New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist finished with 34 saves on Saturday, improving his record to 4-3 with a 3.52 goals-against average this season. Lundqvist has recorded his only two career shutouts against the Panthers, and is 3-0 with a 0.98 GAA in three starts against them.

Jaromir Jagr, who leads the Rangers with 11 assists, had five goals and two assists in the four games against Florida last season, and has 10 goals and 10 assists in his last 10 games versus the Panthers.

The Panthers had uncharacteristically bad special teams play in their 6-3 loss to Atlanta on Monday - their fourth defeat in five games.

Florida, which entered the game leading the league in power-play efficiency at 27.9 percent, went 0-for-6 on Monday. Meanwhile, the Panthers allowed Atlanta to go 5-for-7 with the man advantage.

"We've got to get better on the PK," said Panthers captain Olli Jokinen, who had two assists on Monday. "Five-on-five it was a pretty even game."

Jokinen had career highs of 38 goals and 51 assists last season, but managed just a goal and an assist in four games against the Rangers.

Alex Auld gave up five goals on 19 shots before being pulled after the second period against the Thrashers.

After starting the season 3-0-1 with a 2.37 GAA in his first five games, Auld is 0-3 with a 6.42 GAA in his last three starts. He won his only career start against New York, a 3-2 victory on Dec. 13 while playing for Vancouver.

Ed Belfour stopped seven of eight shots in the third period as Auld's replacement on Monday. Belfour is 1-2 with a 3.37 GAA in five games this season, and is 16-12 with three ties in his career against the Rangers.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Dec 21 '06 NYR 2 at FLA 3 R. Olesz
Dec 10 '06 FLA 1 at NYR 2 M. Nylander
Nov 08 '06 NYR 4 at FLA 3 - SO M. Nylander
Oct 25 '06 FLA 4 at NYR 2 J. Kolnik