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Hurricanes at Rangers preview

Zibanejad returns from 13-game injury absence for New York; Carolina eyes third straight win

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

HURRICANES (15-8-1) at RANGERS (11-9-2)

7 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-CR, NHL.TV


The Game

Mika Zibanejad will return to the New York Rangers lineup for the first time in a month when they play the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

Zibanejad has missed 13 straight games since sustaining an upper-body injury against the Boston Bruins on Oct. 27. The center had 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in nine games before leaving the lineup.

The Rangers are 8-4-1 without Zibanejad, including comeback wins in their past two games.

The Hurricanes, coming off a 2-0 win at the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, have won two games in a row and six of their past seven (6-1-0) after losing four in a row in regulation from Nov. 2-9.


Players to watch

Carolina forward Andrei Svechnikov has points in eight straight games (five goals, seven assists), the longest point streak by a Hurricanes player this season.

Rangers forward Artemi Panarin has points in 14 of his past 15 games (eight goals, 16 assists).


They said it

"We definitely in the last little bit have eliminated some of the things that were creeping in, but whether you're winning four in a row or losing four in a row there are always things to get better at. I think we shored up a few areas and that has helped." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour

"If you would have ever told me that before the season started that we were going to lose Mika Zibanejad for 13 games and we were going to go 8-4-1 I'd be surprised because of No. 1, the position he plays because of our youth down the middle, and two, what he means to our organization." -- Rangers coach David Quinn


Hurricanes projected lineup

Andrei Svechnikov -- Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen

Brock McGinn -- Jordan Staal -- Warren Foegele

Nino Niederreiter -- Lucas Wallmark -- Martin Necas

Ryan Dzingel -- Eetu Luostarinen -- Jordan Martinook

Jaccob Slavin -- Dougie Hamilton

Joel Edmundson -- Brett Pesce

Jake Gardiner -- Haydn Fleury

Petr Mrazek

James Reimer

Scratched: Trevor van Riemsdyk

Injured: Erik Haula (knee)


Rangers projected lineup 

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich

Artemi Panarin -- Filip Chytil -- Ryan Strome

Brendan Lemieux -- Brett Howden -- Kaapo Kakko

Brendan Smith -- Boo Nieves -- Jesper Fast

Brady Skjei -- Jacob Trouba

Ryan Lindgren -- Adam Fox

Libor Hajek -- Tony DeAngelo

Henrik Lundqvist

Alexandar Georgiev

Scratched: Micheal Haley

Injured: Greg McKegg (lower body), Marc Staal (ankle)


Status report

Fleury is expected to play after being a healthy scratch for five straight games. … Strome, who was playing center in Zibanejad's absence, will move to the right wing to accommodate his return and also remain on one of the top two forward lines. 


Stat pack

Lundqvist will be making his 1,000th career appearance in the NHL, regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs combined. He will become the sixth player to appear in at least 1,000 total games with the Rangers, joining Brian Leetch, Harry Howell, Rod Gilbert, Ron Greschner and Walt Tkaczuk. … The Hurricanes lead the League in goals from defensemen with 20. The Rangers are second with 19. … Teravainen has 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) and Aho has 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in 12 games this month.

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