– First, we traveled through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, passed the sea of twirly-swirly gum drops, and then we walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.
This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s familiar match-up between the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we update it with notes, photos and more as puck drop draws near.
A preview of tonight’s game can be found below. The ice at Madison Square Garden won’t be uncovered until later this afternoon, so the Canes will not hold a morning skate, but we’ll pass along anything and everything pertinent as it becomes available.Last updated: 11:45 a.m.
KHUDOBIN STARTS & OTHER LINEUP NOTES11:45 a.m.
Anton Khudobin will receive the start in net tonight, his second start at Madison Square Garden this season. In that 2-1 shootout loss on Oct. 16, he made 33 saves. In two career appearances versus the Rangers, Khudobin is 0-1-1 with a 1.94 goals-against average.
Alexander Semin, activated off injured reserve last night, will draw back into the lineup. He'll begin the game skating on a line with Riley Nash and Patrick Dwyer.
John-Michael Liles, who has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury, will also play tonight.
Here's how we project the lineup:
CANES AND RANGERS GET BACK AT IT6:00 a.m.
If the first two of five meetings between the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers this season are any indication, the third tilt will be another closely-fought battle that might take more than 60 minutes to decide.
In the first meeting between the now-division rivals on Oct. 16 in New York, the Rangers claimed a 2-1 shootout victory after Chris Terry gave the Canes a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Last night, Terry again scored first for the Hurricanes, who ultimately fell 3-2 in the shootout after New York evened the score with just 2:23 to play in regulation.
“When you have a lead late in the third period and they score with two minutes to go, you can’t help but feel that you let a win slip away,” said Cam Ward, who made 32 saves. “We seemed to be a step behind tonight, and it’s unfortunate to once again lose in a shootout.”
Head coach Bill Peters credited Ward with stealing a point for the home team in what was a game dominated, for the most part, by the Rangers.
“I don’t know if we ever got started. I don’t think we got going at all, period,” he said. “Through the first three periods, I thought they skated us.”
“When the team is not at their best, you have to give them a chance and an opportunity by coming up with some timely saves,” Ward said. “After the first period to be up 1-0 was a bonus, and we had a chance to regroup. We got better as the game went along, but we definitely weren’t good enough.”
Coming into tonight’s tilt at Madison Square Garden, the Hurricanes will most certainly look be a more competitive bunch.
“For us, we want to focus on the start and get out to a better start than we did today,” said Jeff Skinner, who gave the Canes a 2-1 lead in the third period on Saturday.
“They probably don’t want to change much, if anything. We have to come up to the speed of the game,” Peters said. “We’ve got to play faster. We didn’t play fast, think fast or move the puck.”
Alexander Semin was activated from injured reserve following last night’s game. In a corresponding move, Justin Shugg was reassigned to Charlotte. Expect to see Semin draw back into the lineup tonight after missing the last five games with a lower-body injury.
NOTES: After posting an assist on Jeff Skinner’s third-period goal, Elias Lindholm has points in three straight games (1g, 2a). … The Rangers have now won 13 of the last 14 meetings between the two teams, scoring four or more goals in nine of those games.