RANGERS (43-22-2) at HURRICANES (26-27-10)
7 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-CR, NHL.TV
Rangers team scope
New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and forward Rick Nash each are day to day with injuries and will not be in the lineup Thursday, when the Rangers try to win their sixth straight road game. Lundqvist is out because of a lower-body injury and Nash has been hampered by an upper-body injury. "Obviously [Lundqvist] was in the last game," coach Alain Vigneault said, referring to a 5-2 victory at the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. "Nash has been carrying this upper-body injury and it's just too painful today." Backup goaltender Antti Raanta, who has won his past three starts, including a 1-0 overtime victory at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, will start. Goaltender Brandon Halverson was recalled from Greenville of the ECHL on an emergency basis to back up Raanta. Forward Matt Puempel will play right wing on the third line with Jimmy Vesey and Kevin Hayes. Vigneault gave a vote of confidence to center Derek Stepan, who has gone 22 games without a goal; Stepan has 12 goals in 67 games this season. "He has got to come in and see every game as a new opportunity," Vigneault said. "You can't carry the burden of (22) games when you're coming to the rink. He's got to move his feet, he's got to make plays when he has the opportunity. He's got to be competing hard on 1-on-1 pucks. If he does that, he'll be fine." The Rangers, 12-4-1 in their past 17 games, are two points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins for second place in the Metropolitan Division, and have the best road record in the NHL at 24-8-0.
Hurricanes team scope
Goaltender Cam Ward will start for the Carolina Hurricanes, who are 3-7-2 in their past 12 games. Forward Valentin Zykov was recalled from Charlotte of the American Hockey League and will make his NHL debut. He has 30 points (15 goals, 15 assists) in 55 AHL games this season. "The first game is always a little bit nervous, but I guess I need to remember that it's the same game," said Zykov, 21. "It's still hockey." A second-round pick (No. 37) by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2013 NHL Draft, Zykov will help fill the void left by checking forwards Brock McGinn and Phillip Di Giuseppe, each out because of an upper-body injury. Zykov will play on the Hurricanes' first line with Jordan Staal and Sebastian Aho. "He's playing hard [in Charlotte], he's at the net," coach Bill Peters said. "We might be able to see him on the power play net-front. He'll come in and give us some energy and be physical. He's got a heavy shot."
Rangers projected lineup
Chris Kreider -- Derek Stepan -- Mats Zuccarello
Pavel Buchnevich -- Mika Zibanejad -- J.T. Miller
Jimmy Vesey -- Kevin Hayes -- Matt Puempel
Tanner Glass -- Oscar Lindberg -- Brandon Pirri
Marc Staal -- Ryan McDonagh
Brendan Smith -- Nick Holden
Brady Skjei -- Steven Kampfer
Scratched: Adam Clendening
Injured: Henrik Lundqvist (lower body), Rick Nash (upper body), Michael Grabner (hip), Dan Girardi (ankle), Jesper Fast (shoulder), Kevin Klein (back)
Hurricanes projected lineup
Sebastian Aho -- Jordan Staal -- Valentin Zykov
Jeff Skinner -- Victor Rask -- Elias Lindholm
Teuvo Teravainen -- Derek Ryan -- Lee Stempniak
Joakim Nordstrom -- Jay McClement -- Patrick Brown
Jaccob Slavin -- Justin Faulk
Noah Hanifin -- Brett Pesce
Klas Dahlbeck -- Ryan Murphy
Scratched: Matt Tennyson
Injured: Phillip Di Giuseppe (upper body), Brock McGinn (upper body)
Grabner took part in the morning skate but Vigneault said he is not ready to play. ... McGinn skated in a yellow no-contact jersey Thursday.
Kreider has two goals in his past three games. ... Slavin has one assist in each of his past five games.