New York Rangers prepare to take on the Florida Panthers from Madison Square Garden

Dec 29, 2023; Sunrise, Florida, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) blocks the shot
Dec 29, 2023; Sunrise, Florida, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Jonathan Quick (32) blocks the shot / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

A shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs has left the New York Rangers licking a few of the wounds suffered over the course of the season. However, that will have to stop as tonights opponent is far more daunting that the blue and white of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It's the reigning Eastern Conference champion Florida Panthers who will come to the Garden, and they are right there with the best teams in the league.

Recent offensive struggles will need to be overcome if the Rangers want the two points tonight. It's the top team in the NHL standings against the fourth placed team in the standings, so the Rangers will need more than just the second line to step up and produce in this game tonight. Anything more than the French Toast line will need to put points up tonight as the Rangers look to continue to fight for the Presidents Trophy.

Projected Lineups

Florida Panthers

Carter Verhaeghe - Aleksander Barkov - Sam Reinhart
Nick Cousins - Sam Bennett - Matthew Tkachuk
Eetu Loustarinen - Anton Lundell - Evan Rodrigues
William Lockwood - Kevin Stenlund - Ryan Lomberg
Gustav Forsling - Aaron Ekblad
Niko Mikkola - Brandon Montour
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Dmitry Kulikov
Sergi Bobrovsky
Anthony Stolarz

New York Rangers

Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Kaapo Kakko
Artemi Panarin - Vincent Trocheck - Alexis Lafreniere
Will Cuylle - Jonny Brodzinski - Jimmy Vesey
Adam Edstrom - Barclay Goodrow - Matthew Rempe
Ryan Lindgren - Adam Fox
K'Andre Miller - Jacob Trouba
Erik Gustafsson - Braden Schneider
Igor Shesterkin
Jonathan Quick

Puck Drop

This is a 7 p.m. puck drop from Madison Square Garden as the Rangers look to get back into the win column. A win would bring the Rangers back to equal terms with the Panthers at the top of the standings. These two teams are very strong and it will be a great game as these are two of the best teams in the league. A potential Eastern Conference Finals preview could be on the cards tonight.