Final SO

Series (Game 2 of 4)

New York leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, November 21st
Game 2: Wednesday, November 25th
Game 3: Wednesday, December 23rd
Game 4: Saturday, April 3rd

Rangers 2

(13-10-1, 27 pts)

Panthers 1

(10-9-4, 24 pts)

7:30 PM ET, November 25, 2009

BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

1 2 3 SO T
NYR 0 1 0 12
FLA 0 0 1 01

P. Parenteau (Rangers - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

H. Lundqvist (Rangers - G): Saves: 25, Save Pct.: .962

T. Vokoun (Panthers - G): Saves: 27, Save Pct.: .964

Rangers-Panthers Preview


John Tortorella is known for using his fiery personality to motivate his team, but a calm approach was just what the New York Rangers needed to overcome an early deficit.

The Rangers will try to build on that offensive burst and are expected to have captain Chris Drury back in the lineup Wednesday night when they again face the Florida Panthers.

Tortorella has gained a reputation as a rigid and mercurial coach, but has a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay from 2004 to prove his methods work.

The Rangers may have been expecting a tirade Monday when they fell behind by two goals to Columbus in the opening 9:31, but Tortorella called a timeout to calm his players. They responded by scoring seven straight goals in a 21:18 span to beat Columbus 7-4.

"I didn't think we were playing that badly," Tortorella said. "We had some breakdowns in the defensive zone and they scored. I told them to take a deep breath. There is a lot of hockey left, and we found a way to come back."

New York will now try to carry that momentum onto the road, where it's 5-5-1 after dropping five of the last seven (2-4-1). The team also hasn't won back-to-back games overall since a seven-game winning streak from Oct. 3-17, going 5-9-1 since while being held to three goals or fewer 11 times.

That stretch includes Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Panthers (10-9-3) that saw the Rangers unload 34 shots at goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who made 26 saves the final two periods.

The Rangers may get a boost as Drury is expected to return after missing five games with a concussion. The center was hit away from the puck by Calgary's Curtis Glencross after just 19 seconds on the ice of a 3-1 loss Nov. 7.

Glencross was suspended three games by the league, but wasn't penalized during the game.

Drury has two goals and four assists, but has just one assist over his last nine games.

Marian Gaborik has been red hot of late. The right wing had two goals and two assists against the Blue Jackets, extending his point streak to seven games, during which he's totaled seven goals and six assists, including a goal against Florida. He's been held without a point in only two games this season.

The two-time All-Star is tied with San Jose's Dany Heatley with an NHL-leading 18 goals, and his 32 points tie him for second with Joe Thornton of the Sharks, one back of Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar.

The Panthers are looking to rebound from Monday's 3-2 overtime loss to Pittsburgh as they wasted a two-goal third-period lead before giving up a goal to Sidney Crosby with 1:53 to play in the extra session.

"I think our inexperience in our lineup showed a little in the third," coach Pete DeBoer said. "We sat back and against a team like that, you give them any life at all and you see what happens."

Despite losing to the Penguins, Florida is 5-0-2 since its last regulation defeat -- a 7-4 loss Nov. 7 at Washington.

Vokoun, who made 42 saves Monday, has been a big reason for that strong stretch. The goaltender is 6-1-2 with a 1.84 goals-against average and three shutouts in his last nine games.