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game preview

Rangers at Hurricanes preview

Carolina tries to keep playoff hopes alive; New York has one win in past seven games

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

RANGERS (33-36-9) at HURRICANES (35-32-11)

7 p.m. ET; MSG 2, FS-CR, NHL.TV


The Game

The Carolina Hurricanes will try to keep their Stanley Cup Playoffs hopes alive when the host the New York Rangers at PNC Arena on Saturday.

Carolina is eight points behind the New Jersey Devils for the second wild card into the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes will be eliminated with a loss of any kind, a shootout win or a point gained by the Devils, who host the New York Islanders.

Goaltender Cam Ward is expected to start for the Hurricanes, who have won four of their past five and defeated the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Friday.

The Rangers, who lost 7-3 at home to the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-3 on Friday, are 1-4-2 in their past seven.

Players to watch

Rangers center Mika Zibanejad has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in his past 10 games.

Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in his past 11 games.


They said it

"The season has been tough. It hasn't been as we wanted. To not be able to finish it off [at home] with a win in front of our fans, it's disappointing." -- Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad

"Valentin Zykov is trying to prove if he's a legitimate NHL player. [Scott] Darling wants to end on a better taste than what's in his mouth right now. [Sebastian] Aho is at 28 goals; it would be nice to get him to 30. There's lots to play for." -- Hurricanes coach Bill Peters


Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Jesper Fast

Kevin Hayes -- Filip Chytil-- Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey -- Lias Andersson -- Ryan Spooner

Cody McLeod -- Vladislav Namestnikov -- Pavel Buchnevich

Marc Staal -- Neal Pionk

Brady Skjei -- Ryan Sproul

John Gilmour -- Rob O'Gara

Henrik Lundqvist

Ondrej Pavelec

Scratched: David Desharnais, Paul Carey, Peter Holland

Injured: Tony DeAngelo (ankle), Kevin Shattenkirk (knee surgery), Steven Kampfer (fractured hand)

Hurricanes projected lineup

Valentin Zykov -- Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen

Brock McGinn -- Jordan Staal -- Justin Williams

Jeff Skinner -- Elias Lindholm -- Phillip Di Giuseppe

Joakim Nordstrom -- Derek Ryan -- Lee Stempniak

Jaccob Slavin -- Justin Faulk

Noah Hanifin -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Haydn Fleury -- Klas Dahlbeck

Cam Ward

Scott Darling

Scratched: None

Injured: Victor Rask (shoulder), Brett Pesce (shoulder)


Status report

Neither team held a morning skate. … Lundqvist is expected to start after Pavelec played against the Lightning.


Stat pack

Chytil, selected in the first round (No. 21) in the 2017 NHL Draft, scored his first NHL goal Friday. He has one goal and one assist in five games. … The Hurricanes are 28-11-5 when scoring first. Carolina is the least-penalized team in the NHL (6.2 minutes per game).

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