Rangers will visit the Florida Panthers for first game of 2023

SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 29: Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky #72 looks on as Eetu Luostarinen #27 of the Florida Panthers checks Kaapo Kakko #24 of the New York Rangers off the puck during first period action at the FLA Live Arena on December 29, 2021 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 29: Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky #72 looks on as Eetu Luostarinen #27 of the Florida Panthers checks Kaapo Kakko #24 of the New York Rangers off the puck during first period action at the FLA Live Arena on December 29, 2021 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /
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Kakko competes in the corner down in Florida last season
SUNRISE, FL – DECEMBER 29: Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky #72 looks on as Eetu Luostarinen #27 of the Florida Panthers checks Kaapo Kakko #24 of the New York Rangers off the puck during first-period action at the FLA Live Arena on December 29, 2021, in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

Your New York Rangers are back in action for the first time this calendar year. After a hard-fought defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning just a few days ago, it will be the Florida Panthers that oppose the Blueshirts tonight. This is a Ranger team that is just as desperate for the two points as last season’s President’s Trophy winners down in Sunrise.

Team news for tonight sees the return of Alexis Lafreniere to the lineup. After the Quebecois winger was omitted from the game in Tampa after being demoted to the fourth line in the game prior, the New York Rangers will return the former first-overall pick and it looks like he will be joining the third line to provide more of a scoring punch. That was something that was clearly an issue last time the Rangers played and hopefully they can be more threatening with the winger.

Igor Shesterkin gets the nod for the Rangers again. The Russian netminder continues to have a good season even if it isn’t quite up to the standards he set for himself last season. He will get another chance to prove himself as one of the best netminders in hockey. This Florida Panthers team will certainly prove to be a strong test as they look to bounce back from a dismantling in their last performance in Raleigh.

New York Rangers

Chris Kreider – Mika Zibanejad – Kaapo Kakko
Artemi Panarin – Vincent Trocheck – Vitali Kravtsov
Alexis Lafreniere – Filip Chytil – Jimmy Vesey
Barclay Goodrow – Jonny Brodzinski – Julien Gauthier

Ryan Lindgren – Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller – Jacob Trouba
Ben Harpur – Braden Schneider

Igor Shesterkin
Jaroslav Halak

Florida Panthers

Carter Verhaeghe – Aleksander Barkov – Colin White
Eetu Luostarinen – Sam Bennett – Matthew Tkachuk
Nick Cousins – Anton Lundell – Sam Reinhart
Ryan Lomberg – Eric Staal – Zac Dalpe

Gustav Forsling – Aaron Ekblad
Marc Staal – Brandon Montour
Josh Mahura – Radko Gudas

Spencer Knight
Sergei Bobrovsky

Where to watch and puck drop time

This is a New Year’s Day matinee as the Rangers will see the puck drop at 5 PM Eastern down at FLA Live Arena. This will be available on Sportsnet for Ranger fans north of the border. Fans in the south will be able to watch on Bally Sports Florida. MSG will have the Rangers feed for those in New York. Two teams desperate for points will both be looking to try and get themselves back into the playoff places.

dark. Next. Lafreniere needs to have a big year