NHL Hockey: Florida at NY Rangers Print
Written by TheSpread   
Sunday, 10 December 2006 05:18
NHL Headline News

Despite Big Chaulk Public is Pounding Rangers Tonight Over Panthers

Team Page: Florida :: NY Rangers

87% of Bets Placed on Rangers -220 | Matchup | Goalies
The New York Rangers knew what kind of offensive production they could expect from Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan. They have to be pleased with what Martin Straka has been producing lately.

Straka will look to extend an impressive points streak and the Rangers go for their third win in a row when they meet the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Oddsmakers have made New York -220 money line (NHL Odds) favorites for todays game, the over/under has been set at

6.5 total goals (View NHL Sports Books).

The Rangers are 1-1-0 this season against the Panthers, including a 4-2 loss on Oct. 25 at home. New York (15-10-4) has not lost two straight at home to Florida since April 8-Oct. 10, 1996.

Straka has scored three goals versus the Panthers this season and enters this contest on a roll,having recorded seven goals and nine assists - seven on the power play - during a nine-game points streak.

Straka and Jagr each had a goal and an assist in New York's 3-1 win over Ottawa on Saturday. The Rangers start play in second place in the Atlantic Division with 34 points - two behind first-place New Jersey, but only one ahead of the New York Islanders.

With his 15th multipoint game of the season, Jagr extended his own points streak to a more modest four games. Shanahan capped the scoring in the final minute of the contest with his fifth goal in three games and 22nd overall to tie Atlanta's Marian Hossa for the league lead.

Shanahan has yet to score a goal this season against the Panthers, but has picked up three assists.

Henrik Lundqvist, who's struggled all season to find the consistency that led to 30 wins as a rookie in 2006-06, made 34 saves to improve to 12-7-2.

Lundqvist has won both of his starts and recorded a 1.45 goals-against average since being pulled in the first period last Sunday, after giving up four goals in a 7-4 loss to the New York Islanders.

``The last two games have been really good for us,'' he said after the win over Ottawa. ``I think we played one of our best games this year. (The Senators) were smart and patient, but this game meant a lot for us. I was patient on the shots. I felt I was in control of the rebounds.''

Lundqvist is 6-4-2 with a 3.06 GAA and one shutout at Madison Square Garden this season. In 2005-06, he was 21-6-4 with a 1.96 GAA and two shutouts - both against the Panthers.

Florida (10-15-6) began a two-game swing through the New York metropolitan area with a 5-4 shootout loss to the Islanders on Saturday.

After giving up a goal with less than 2 minutes to play in regulation, Florida tied it on defenseman Ruslan Salei's fourth goal 43 seconds before overtime. The Panthers' Alex Auld gave up two shootout goals, as Florida failed to win three in a row for the first time this season.

Florida was unable to convert a power play in overtime before losing, but still has earned five of a possible six points in the last three games.

``We should have had two tonight,'' Panthers captain Olli Jokinen said. ``We had a lead in the third, and we had that power play in overtime, and we didn't capitalize on our chances.''

Jokinen had his season-high three-game points streak end in the loss. He continues to lead Florida with 13 goals, but has just one in 16 road games.

Despite their recent surge, the Panthers have the worst road record in the Eastern Conference at 3-8-5

by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us

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