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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, December 31st (All times Eastern)

New York Rangers (19-19-2) at Florida Panthers (15-20-5), 5 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers expect to have Marc Staal back on Tuesday when they take aim at their fourth win in five games in Tuesday's road test against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center.

Staal has missed the last 10 games after suffering a concussion against New Jersey on Dec. 7, but head coach Alain Vigneault announced after practice on Monday that the defenseman is ready to return to action.

"He's been working real hard for a couple of weeks, skated during the Christmas break, and he feels he's in good condition," Vigneault told his team's official website. "So I told him if he feels good to go we're going to play him."

Staal, who missed the last 36 games of the 2011-12 season due to a concussion, has two goals and an assist in 30 contests this season.

Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman could also be back Tuesday after missing New York's last game with a wrist injury.

The Rangers have won three of their last four outings and are coming off Sunday's 4-3 decision in Tampa. New York went 3-for-3 on the power play as it held on for the close victory in Central Florida.

Mats Zuccarello had a goal and two assists to lead New York's offense, while Rick Nash, Chris Kreider and Benoit Pouliot also scored.

"The guys moved the puck real well and when they had the opportunity to throw it at the net they did and good things usually happen," said Vigneault about his team's power play.

"It was obviously a difference-maker tonight."

Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves for the Rangers on Sunday and he'll try to post victories in consecutive starts tonight for the first time since he beat Pittsburgh and Florida on Nov. 6 and 10, respectively.

Lundqvist is 2-0 against Florida this season and expects to get the start on Tuesday. He made 24 saves to help the Rangers beat a visiting Panthers team on Nov. 10 and stopped 31-of-33 shots in a 5-2 triumph at Florida on Nov. 27. The Swedish netminder is 17-9-1 with a 1.79 goals against average in 27 career games against the Panthers.

The Rangers have won three of four and six of the last eight overall meetings against Florida. The Panthers have taken three of the past five encounters in Sunrise.

Florida last played on Sunday when it halted a three-game slide with a 4-1 decision against the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

Brian Campbell tallied a goal and an assist to help the Panthers earn their first win on a five-game homestand. Florida began the residency with consecutive regulation losses and allowed 10 goals over those two setbacks before holding Montreal to just one goal on Sunday.

Scott Clemmensen made 21 saves for the win and he improved to 8-1-0 in his career against Montreal.

"I think it's a team that we've matched up well against for whatever reason," said Clemmensen.

Dmitry Kulikov and Aleksander Barkov also scored for Florida, while Sean Bergenheim added an empty-netter with 17 seconds left in regulation for the final margin.

Florida is 8-9-3 as the host this season, while the Rangers are 11-9-0 as the visiting team.

12/31 10:57:15 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
3rd
CAR 10
CLE 3
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
3:30pm Today
TOR
NYK
4:30pm Today
CLE
MEM
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
6:00pm Tonight
BRK
DET
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHI
6:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
2nd
BGU 55
FERST 68
 
2nd
ARMY 43
MAINE 48
 
2nd
QUIN 55
ORST 50
 
2nd
CLST 54
USF 55
 
2nd
CARK 34
CCAR 40
 
1st
UWGB 31
ARKLR 27
 
1st
RAD 26
CORN 32
 
1st
UNT 28
CREI 12
 
1st
CAN 19
HC 16
 
1st
USB 17
GHND 20
 
1st
OKST 20
MD 23
 
1st
WINT 36
REIN 26
 
1st
UGST 36
SMISS 21
 
1st
NEOM 35
TXPA 30
 
1st
STLU 18
VERM 17
 
1st
UNCA 26
WCU 23
 
1st
EVAN 36
ALAST 26
 
1st
HART 20
FIU 8
 
1st
VALPO 9
GOSHEN 0
 
3:00pm Today
LIP
PEAY
 
3:00pm Today
DEN
BRY
 
3:00pm Today
MONT
SD
 
3:00pm Today
MTST
TENST
3:00pm Today
SAMF
LAMON
 
3:30pm Today
SCAR
COKR
 
4:00pm Today
HAMP
NARZ
 
4:00pm Today
SDU
SDCHR
 
4:00pm Today
BC
USC
4:30pm Today
NICST
TROY
 
4:30pm Today
BRAD
UCI
 
6:00pm Tonight
UGA
SHU
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
6:00pm Tonight
DET
COL
6:00pm Tonight
EDM
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
3rd
NOS 7
ATL 13
 
Half
HOU 16
BAL 0
 
3rd
CAR 10
CLE 3
 
3rd
CHI 7
DET 7
 
3rd
TAM 3
GBP 10
 
3rd
PIT 10
KAN 6
 
Half
MIA 7
MIN 17
 
3rd
NYJ 10
NEP 7
 
4:05pm Today
STL
NYG
4:25pm Today
OAK
BUF
4:25pm Today
DAL
IND
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA