The Rangers are in Miami tonight to take on the Panthers, and can clinch a spot in the playoffs in the process. If the Rangers win tonight and the Jets lose in regulation to Washington, then the Rangers clinch at least the eighth seed. If the Rangers win tonight and the Islanders lose to Carolina, then the Rangers jump to the sixth seed, one point behind Toronto for the fifth seed. There’s still a lot of movement that can happen in the seeding, but a win and a Jets loss seals the deal for the postseason.
As for the Panthers, there’s nothing special to the systems they use. On the forecheck, the Panthers play your traditional 1-2-2 forecheck, which sends one forechecker deep to harass the breakout, and clogs the neutral zone with two guys up high and two defenseman back by the defensive blue line. They use the 1-2-2 as a lead based trap. In the defensive zone, the Panthers are like the Rangers in that they play a low zone collapse. On special teams, the Panthers are like most NHL teams, in the sense that they use an umbrella powerplay and a hybrid diamond/box penalty kill.
For more on Tortorella’s systems read here.
2012-2013 Records: Panthers (13-26-6), Rangers (24-17-4)
NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (40 GP, 2.08 GAA, .927 SV%)
FLA Goaltender: Jacob Markstrom (20 GP, 3.26 GAA, .902 SV%)
Broadcast Info: MSG+, 7:30pm
Torts’ post-game interview from Sunday: