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Naslund, Rangers seek third straight win against Panthers

NY Rangers (16-7-2) at Florida (8-11-2), 7:30 pm EST

SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- When the New York Rangers lost

Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan, Sean Avery and Martin Straka -

four of their biggest offensive contributors - in the offseason,

they desperately needed one of their new acquisitions to

deliver.

Riding a four-game points streak, Markus Naslund hopes to

continue his success with his new team, as the Rangers can

extend their winning streak to three when they visit the Florida

Panthers on Friday.

Naslund has two goals and three assists over the last four

contests, and 15 points - eight goals and seven assists - in his

last 17. After becoming the Vancouver Canucks' franchise points

and goals leader, Naslund signed a two-year contract with the

Rangers as a free agent in July.

Naslund scored two goals and came through in a shootout as the

Rangers edged the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, on Wednesday.

Fellow newcomer Nikolai Zherdev has also contributed a great

deal by recording seven goals and 15 assists. He set up both of

Naslund's goals and tallied in the second round of the bonus

format.

The Rangers have won five of their last seven games after

beginning November 1-3-1.

Florida snapped a two-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over

the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, but fell to the New Jersey

Devils, 3-2, in overtime two days later.

While dropping four of their last six, the Panthers have

struggled on offense and have not netted four goals since a 4-0

win over the Lightning on November 12.

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