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GameDay Caterwaul: New York Rangers at Florida Panthers

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Road ahead gets no easier as Cats face serious playoff-bound competition

Florida Panthers v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Rangers (42-22-2 86P) at Panthers (29-24-11 69P)

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  • WHEN: 7:30 p.m. ET - LBC GameThread right here at 7ish
  • WHERE: BB&T Center - Sunrise, FL
  • TICKETS: via the Club
  • ON THE TUBE: FOX Sports Florida, MSG
  • ON THE DIAL: 560 WQAM, 640 WMEN
  • GOODIES: Panther Conservation and Grateful Dead Night March 10 vs Minnesota!
  • SOCIALS: #FlaPanthers, #NYR, #NYRvsFLA, @LitterBoxCats, LBC FaceBook
  • ENEMY INTEL: Blueshirt Banter
  • SB NATION: Game Feature Hub
  • BACK-TO-BACK? (FLA/NYR): None/Back
  • FLA IN SEASON SERIES: Game 2 of 3 (1-0)
  • ALL-TIME vs NYR (RS): 34W-42L-6T 3OTL 5SOL 209GF 264GA
  • ALL-TIME at FLA (RS): 19W-17L-2T 2OTL 5SOL 110GF 123GA
  • LAST FIVE vs NYR (RS): 2-2-1 13GF 13GA
  • LAST MEETING: FLA 3 at NYR 2 (SO) - (Todd’s Recap) - 11/20/2016
  • NEXT MEETING (RS): Friday March 17, 2017 at MSG
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Reimer (12-9-5 .922/2.42 0SO) vs Lundqvist (29-17-2 .912/2.66 2SO)
  • TALE OF THE TAPE via Left Wing Lock
  • JAGR WATCH: All-time vs NYR (RS): 73GP 29G-59A 88P +13 5GWG
  • PLAYER STATS: Florida / New York

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Scouting Report:

When the Florida Panthers play host to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night at the BB&T Center, there is no question which team is more desperate.

That would be the Panthers (29-24-1), who are currently a couple of points outside playoff position.

The Rangers (42-22-2) are comfortably in playoff position but still want to win, especially due to a recent mini-slump that has seen their once free-wheeling, four-line offense grounded to a halt.

On Monday night, New York needed overtime before it finally scored. Mika Zibanejad's ninth goal of the season, which came after nearly 64 minutes of action had expired, finally allowed the Rangers to escape Tampa Bay with a 1-0 win over the Lightning.

It was a nice win for New York, which had lost three of its past four games.

But while the Rangers want to win, the Panthers need to win, just to even make the postseason.

Florida interim coach Tom Rowe announced on Monday that he was switching the centers on his second and third lines.

Vincent Trocheck (team-high 22 goals) will now play with speedy Jonathan Marchessault (19 goals) and newly acquired Thomas Vanek.

Center Nick Bjugstad, who has been injured much of this season, will be reunited with Reilly Smith and Jussi Jokinen on a unit that was successful late last season and into the playoffs. (More via AP)

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Last action from the Cats: 2-1 (REG) loss at home vs Dallas Thursday. Past five: 1-3-1 (streak: 2L)

Last action from the Rags: Helpful 1-0 (OT) road win vs Tampa Bay. Past five: 2-3 (streak: 1W)

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Tuesday in the Atlantic Division (Standings/Panthers Playoff Chances):

  • Philadelphia (30-26-8 68P) at BUFFALO (27-27-12 66P), 7:30 NBCSN
  • DETROIT (25-27-11 51P) at TORONTO (28-22-14 70P)
  • MONTREAL (37-21-8 82P) at Vancouver (28-30-7 64P)
  • Idle: BOS (74P), OTT (78P), TB (69P)

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