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Florida Panthers Take on NHL-Leading New York Rangers

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Florida Panthers New York Rangers
Florida’s Carter Verhaeghe tangles with New York forward Mika Zibanejad during their game in Sunrise last spring. // Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers are going to need Sergei Bobrovsky to be at the top of his game once again against the New York Rangers.

While star goaltender Igor Shesterkin is getting the night off in the first half of a back-to-back for the Blueshirts, Jonathan Quick has not been anything to sneeze at either.

(It’s rude to sneeze at things, by the way.)

Quick is 9-1-1 with a .920 save percentage and a 2.27 goals-against average this season.

He ranks in the Top 5 in both save percentage and goals-against average among goaltenders who have played in at least 12 games.

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He has had the Panthers’ number over the course of his 17-year NHL career, too.

Quick is 12-4-0 with a .922 SV%, a 2.38 GAA and a shutout when playing against Florida.

He also won the Stanley Cup against the Panthers as Adin Hill’s backup with the Vegas Golden Knights last season.

Suffice to say, Bobrovsky is going to need to be on his A-Game against Quick and the red hot Rangers team that’s in front of him.

New York has the NHL’s best record at 24-8-1 and has the best power play in the league at 31.1 percent.

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Star defenseman Adam Fox, who is tied for the second-most power play points by a defenseman (16) and has 23 points overall, has been a crucial part of that.

”They are just a really good balanced team because they have some dynamic offensive players in the back end that helps support that,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said.

”Their back-end guys get in on the rush, they have a good bit of grit and they have had a good bit of success slowing teams down in the neutral one, so I think it gets really, really fast and then physical by the end of it.”

Bobrovsky has proven to be more than up to the task as of late, however,

Since Nov. 1, Bobrovsky has the most wins by any goaltender with a 13-6-0 record with a .913 SV% and a 2.33 GAA.

He looks to follow up a 27-save performance in a 3-2 win against Tampa Bay.

“It’s unbelievable,” Sam Reinhart said of Bobrovsky’s play late in games.

“There are not many games like the last one where you see both goalies make big save after big save like that. It was a heck of a performance and he has been such a staple to our success ever since I got here.”

GAME NOTES

The Florida Panthers will not make any lineup changes from their win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

Sergei Bobrovsky will start in net for Florida while Jonathan Quick goes for New York.

ON DECK

NEW YORK RANGERS @ FLORIDA PANTHERS

  • When: Friday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL App
  • Local Odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-135); Puck line (-1.5, +180); Over/Under 6.5 (+105/-130)
  • Last Season: Rangers won 3-0
  • This Season — At Florida: Friday. At MSG: March 4; March 24.
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Rangers lead 60-32-8, 6 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Saturday vs. Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m.

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS (20-12-2) LINES

17 Evan Rodrigues // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

27 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell  // 21 Nick Cousins

94 Ryan Lomberg //82 Kevin Stenlund // 67 Will Lockwood

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

77 Niko Mikkola // 62 Brandon Montour

91 Oliver Ekman-Larsson // 7 Dmitry Kulikov

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

41 Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Josh Mahura, Steven Lorentz, Jonah Gadjovich

PROJECTED NEW YORK RANGERS (24-8-1) LINES

20 Chris Kreider // 93 Mika Zibanejad // 17 Blake Wheeler
10 Artemi Panarin // 16 Vincent Trocheck // 13 Alexis Lafreniere
50 Will Cuylle // 12 Nick Bonino // 22 Jonny Brodzinski
26 Jimmy Vesey // 21 Barclay Goodrow // 71 Tyler Pitlick

55 Ryan Lindgren // 23 Adam Fox
79 K’Andre Miller // 8 Jacob Trouba
56 Erik Gustafsson // 4 Braden Schneider

32 Jonathan Quick
31 Igor Shesterkin

Scratched: Zac Jones, Adam Edstrom

Injured: Kaapo Kakko (lower body), Filip Chytil (upper body)

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