New York Rangers look to build on win over Boston by beating the Florida Panthers

Mar 4, 2024; New York, New York, USA;  New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) and Florida
Mar 4, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) and Florida / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

This is one of the most difficult games of the season for the New York Rangers. It's the reigning Eastern Conference Champions in a game that will see the winner move to the top of the leagues standings. It's the second placed team in the Atlantic and the Metropolitan leaders. It's the expansion of southern hockey against one of the "Original Six". It's the Florida Panthers and the New York Rangers.

After Artemi Panarin rescued two point in Boston, the Rangers take on the other of the two-heads in the monster Atlantic division, and the Panthers will not let up anymore than the Bruins did. There is a reason this roster was in the Stanley Cup Final last spring. Solid in all three zones, physical, and with talent across the board, they can put the puck in the net at a moments notice. So, can the Rangers answer the bell against another great roster?

After Jonathan Quick was excellent in the game against the Bruins, we're likely going to see Igor Shesterkin return to the crease for the Blueshirts. The Russian netminder has been a redemption story and then some with his dominance since the all-star break in February. He's been restored to his rightful place among the leagues elite netminders. He'll likely be facing down another Russian in Sergei Bobrovsky, sowe'll see if he can top another rival.

Projected Lineups

Florida Panthers

Eetu Luostarinen - Anton Lundell - Sam Reinhart
Carter Verhaeghe - Sam Bennett - Matthew Tkachuk
Evan Rodrigues - Kevin Stenlund - Vladimir Tarasenko
Nick Cousins - Steven Lorentz - Kyle Okposo
Gustav Forsling - Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Niko Mikkola - Brandon Montour
Uvis Balinskis - Josh Mahura
Sergei Bobrovsky
Anthony Stolarz

New York Rangers

Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Jack Roslovic
Artemi Panarin - Vincent Trocheck - Alexis Lafreniere
Will Cuylle - Alex Wennberg - Kaapo Kakko
Jimmy Vesey - Barclay Goodrow - Matt Rempe
K'Andre Miller - Braden Schneider
Erik Gustafsson - Adam Fox
Zac Jones - Chad Ruhwedel
Igor Shesterkin
Jonathan Quick

Puck Drop

This will be a 7 p.m. puck drop from Madison Square Garden. These two teams have gone toe-to-toe with each other already over the course of the season and this is the final meeting between the two. New York will look to open up a three point lead in the Metropolitan while staying in the fight for the Presidents Trophy. If the Rangers can do that, they may be looking at home ice in the first two playoff rounds.