The host Florida Panthers and New York Rangers, who meet on Saturday night at the BB&T Center, have switched places.
Florida (33-25-7), which has made the playoffs just five times in its 25-year history, is the hottest team in the NHL since Jan. 30, going 14-3-1 during that span. The Panthers, who are three points out of the second wild card, have won seven straight home games and will try to break the franchise record in that category when New York visits on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Rangers, after making the playoffs in each of the past seven seasons, appear destined to miss out at 30-32-6. They have lost nine of their past 12 games and raised the white flag of surrender last month when they traded many of their stars in exchange for draft picks, young players and hope for the future.