COLUMBUS — The bad news for the Florida Panthers is that January officially ran out of days and is now over.
What a month that was, right?
By beating up on the Blue Jackets 8-4 on Monday night, the Panthers won 12 games in a single month for the first time in their history.
And they did not just slip by teams, either.
With rare exception, when the Panthers won in January, it was usually a blowout.
The Panthers went 12-2-1 in the opening month of 2022, outscoring their opponents 74-40 in the process.
That’s a plus-34 for those of you scoring at home.
Of the 15 games, only four were decided by a single goal.
If you count the final two games of December, Florida is 14-2-1 and outscoring teams 87-46 — yeah, plus-41.
That ain’t bad folks.
Although the calendar has changed, but the Panthers certainly would like to to keep the good times rolling into what should be a nice break.
Tuesday night, the Panthers are in New York to take on the Rangers in what will be Florida’s final game before an extended All-Star/winter break.
While a number of players would have been going to the Beijing Olympics, only Jonathan Huberdeau and coach Andrew Brunette will be heading to Las Vegas for the upcoming All-Star weekend.
The rest will be able to kick back and take it easy for a couple of days.
After taking care of one last measure of business in New York City, that is.
The Panthers, winners of their past four games, do have business to take care of at Madison Square Garden before this before a two-week hiatus.
Florida is healthy and definitely rolling.
It isn’t like this break is a welcome respite.
Truth be told, the Panthers would probably like to continue on their path.
Only that is not an option.
The Panthers will go their separate ways following the conclusion of Tuesday night’s and will not reconvene for a couple of weeks.
The Panthers are expected to start Spencer Knight in net Tuesday and he has a little bit to prove to the Rangers after losing 5-4 in his one-and-only start at MSG earlier this season.
UPDATE: Andrew Brunette confirms Knight will start.
The Rangers are one of the better teams in the Metropolitan Division so this will be a good test for the Panthers who are 1-1 against New York this season.
The two will not play again unless they were to meet in the playoffs.
Which is a possibility.
— Rookie defenseman Chase Priskie is expected to get back in tonight in place of Lucas Carlsson. This would be his fourth game of the season.
Frank Vatrano also gets back in replacing Joe Thornton.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT NEW YORK RANGERS
- When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
- TV/Streaming: ESPN+/Hulu exclusive
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, SiriusXM
- NHL Betting Odds from BetUS: Florida favored (Money Line -155) — (Puck Line -1.5 +160) — Over/Under 6.5 (-105/-115)
- Last season: Did not play
- This season: @Rangers 4, Florida 3 (Nov 8); @Florida 4, Rangers 3 (Dec 29)
- All-time regular season series: Rangers lead 56-32-8, 6 ties
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
11 Jonathan Huberdeau // 16 Sasha Barkov // 23 Carter Verhaeghe
74 Owen Tippett // 8 Sam Bennett // 10 Anthony Duclair
17 Mason Marchment // 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart
94 Ryan Lomberg // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 77 Frank Vatrano
52 MacKenzie Weegar // 5 Aaron Ekblad
42 Gus Forsling // 7 Radko Gudas
22 Chase Priskie // 62 Brandon Montour
30 Spencer Knight
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
Scratched: Joe Thornton, Jonas Johansson, Lucas Carlsson
Injured: Noel Acciari (LTIR), Markus Nutivaara (LTIR), Maxim Mamin (IR), Patric Hornqvist (IR), Olli Juolevi (IR)
PROJECTED NEW YORK RANGERS LINEUP
20 Chris Krieder // 93 Mika Zibanejad // 13 Alexis Lafreniere
10 Artemi Panarin // 16 Ryan Strome // 21 Barclay Goodrow
29 Dryden Hunt // 17 Kevin Rooney // 75 Ryan Reaves
14 Greg McKegg // 76 Johnny Brodzinski // 15 Julien Gauthier
79 K’Andre Miller // 8 Jacob Trouba
55 Ryan Lindgren // 45 Braden Schneider
25 Libor Hajek // 6 Zac Jones
31 Igor Shesterkin
40 Alexandar Georgiev