Attribute it to the comforts of home or any number of factors, but the New York Rangers are turning things around. The Florida Panthers are … not.
The Rangers won their third game in a row and have carried over generally good work since they beat the Detroit Red Wings to end their dreadful nine-game road trip with a 3-2 OT win on Oct. 26. Since then, they’ve won seven of their last nine games.
The way things are going, Panthers head coach Peter Horachek might need to wait a while for his first win with Florida. The team is now on a nine-game losing streak (0-5-4) with the only solace being one of two choices: a) four charity points or b) better chances at grabbing (another) top prospect.
Brad Richards continued his strong play of late, with two points (one goal and one assist). Neither Tim Thomas nor Henrik Lundqvist were particularly dominant on Sunday.
Going forward, the Rangers face a schedule that remains remarkably imbalanced. Just looking ahead to later this month, they face a five-game road trip. They can’t complain too much, though, as they’ll enjoy an eight-game homestand from Dec. 7-23.
After making the Wild out of training camp, Tyler Graovac got some bad news on Tuesday — head coach Mike Yeo said Graovac would miss the next 2-3 weeks with a groin strain.
Graovac, 22, played just under 14 minutes in Minnesota’s crazy 5-4 comeback win over Colorado in the season-opener, but sat out Saturday’s win over St. Louis.
At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Graovac was a notable physical presence in the Wild lineup, and is an intriguing prospect — he impressed with AHL Iowa last year, scoring 21 goals and 46 points in 73 games.
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.