- Katie Strang, ESPN.com
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At a glance: What are the Rangers thankful for? That Wednesday’s game against the lowly Florida Panthers helped spark their sluggish offense to the tune of five goals. A win over the Cats allowed the Rangers to move into seventh place in the East as they wrap up a five-game road trip against the conference-leading Boston Bruins Friday afternoon. Boston's game Wednesday was a clunker, a 6-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, but the Bruins have won eight of their last 11 games to remain on top in the standings.
Offensive outburst: In the Rangers' 5-2 win on Wednesday, they tallied five goals for only the third time this season -- quite an incredible feat considering the Blueshirts rank 27th in total offense with a measly 2.12 goals per game. The power play helped as the Rangers notched a pair of man-up goals to snap an 0-for-9 skid.
Rask looking to rebound: Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, one of the best netminders in the league right now, had a rough game Wednesday. The second period was particularly poor as he allowed three goals on four Red Wings shots within a span of 3:54. Prior to Wednesday’s match, the 26-year-old had held opponents to two goals or fewer in eight of his previous 10 starts.
Bad history: Though the Rangers have an emotional meeting with the Canucks and former coach John Tortorella at Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon, they have some pre-existing history with the Bruins that cannot go overlooked, either. The Bruins, of course, knocked the Rangers from the playoffs last spring in a five-game series in which the Blueshirts were roundly outplayed. That disappointing exit in the East semifinals ultimately cost Tortorella his job.
Lineup change: Embattled defenseman Michael Del Zotto was scratched for the fourth time in seven games Wednesday, when he was forced to watch from the press box as the Rangers dispatched the Panthers. Could the young blueliner be back in the lineup Friday? Whatever the case, Del Zotto's future with the Rangers looks uncertain at best as trade rumors continue to swirl.