Two of the New York Rangers' next three games are against the Florida Panthers, but it's safe to say those aren't the ones that will receive the most attention.
The Panthers try to take advantage of New York's distractions surrounding the Winter Classic as the Rangers close their 2011 slate Friday night in Sunrise, Fla.
After this contest, these clubs will finish their season series next Thursday in Manhattan, but in between the Rangers (22-9-4) visit Philadelphia for Monday's much-anticipated outdoor game against the Atlantic Division rival Flyers.
Both New York and Philadelphia are among the top teams in Eastern Conference - a distinction shared by surprising Southeast Division leader Florida.
The Panthers (19-11-7) dropped their final three games before Christmas, culminating in an ugly 8-0 loss at Boston, but they emerged from the break Tuesday with a 5-3 victory over Toronto. They improved to 7-1-2 in their last 10 home contests, including a 2-1 win over the Rangers on Nov....