Pregame Analysis

It’s Game Day! Mika Zibanejad and the Rangers try to stay hot on the road against the Panthers

Mike Zibanejad has points in five straight games and the New York Rangers look to have found their mojo back after a stellar overtime win against the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday.

The now 5-7-2 Blueshirts are back at it tonight against a Florida Panthers team that is facing perhaps the opposite momentum against them as they’ve lost two straight. Florida is 4-7-1 and they are dealing with defensive and goaltending struggles much like the Rangers had in October.

The team lead by their strong young core has not been able to shore up on the defensive end enough and are now third-to-last in the league in goals against.

Players to watch

Pavel Buchnevich’s success is in large part to the chemistry with Mika Zibanejad as he is leading the Rangers offense in shots and points

Mika Zibanejad is proving that he is well deserving of his place as the number one center on the Rangers and is showing a consistent effort day-in and day-out. Zibanejad’s chemistry with Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich has finally led to the Rangers finishing on the plethora of scoring chances they have been generating this season.

Zibanejad has 8 points in his last five games including the most ice time of any Rangers forward.

Evgeni Dadonov is emerging as a true offensive threat after four years with the Panthers organization

Evgenni Dadonov on the Panthers has largely filled in for Jaromir Jagr’s lost presence on the Panthers first line and similarly to Zibanejad — his chemistry with has led to him being over a point-per-game player for the Panthers with 14 points in 12 games this season.

Dadonov has seven points in his last four games, however he was shut down during the team’s last performance in which they lost 7-3 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Rangers Lines

Chris Kreider — Mika Zibanejad — Pavel Buchnevich

Rick Nash — Kevin Hayes — Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey — Paul Carey — J.T. Miller

Michael Grabner — Boo Nieves — Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh — Kevin Shattenkirk

Brady Skjei — Steven Kampfer

Marc Staal — Nick Holden

Henrik Lundqvist

Ondrej Pavelec

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