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Struggling Rangers head to Carolina

by Brian Compton
RANGERS (31-26-4) at HURRICANES (28-24-8)

TV: MSG, Fox Sports-Carolina.

Last 10: New York 2-7-1; Carolina 3-5-2.

Season Series: This is the fourth and final meeting between the teams. Carolina is 2-0-1 against the Rangers this season and most recently earned a 4-1 victory on Jan. 20 at the RBC Center.

Big Story: As if Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers wasn't painful enough, the Rangers lost their most talented winger, too.

Marian Gaborik left after the first period Sunday due to concussion symptoms and did not accompany the team to Carolina. Gaborik had 17 goals and 21 assists in 47 games for the Blueshirts this season.

"I don't know when it happened, and I don't know how it happened," Rangers coach John Tortorella said of Gaborik's injury.

Team Scope:

Rangers: Despite Sunday's loss, New York still remains in playoff position. The Rangers -- who have won only two of their last 10 games -- enter Tuesday's action in seventh place in Eastern Conference, but they're also just six points ahead of Buffalo, which resides in ninth place.

"My belief in the team is getting stronger," Tortorella said. "It is about results and it is about winning, but we're doing the right things. We just haven't been able to do that (win games) consistently, especially the second half of the year."

Hurricanes: Carolina had its three-game winning streak snapped by New Jersey on Saturday, when the 'Canes suffered a 4-1 loss at RBC Center. While both teams haven't exactly played their best hockey as of late, Carolina coach Paul Maurice expects yet another hard-fought game against the Rangers on Tuesday night.

"We liked our three games against the Rangers this year," Maurice said. "The first one was a goaltending festival, and the other two have been really hard-fought, hard-grinding games."

Injury Report: Besides Gaborik, the Rangers will also be without Derek Boogaard (concussion), Chris Drury (knee), Ruslan Fedotenko (shoulder, appendix) and Alex Frolov (knee). … Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen (lower body) and center Ryan Carter (back) are day-to-day.

Stat Pack: Carolina's match against New Jersey on Saturday night was the third meeting between the teams in 12 nights. New Jersey won all three games, with the Hurricanes scoring a total of five goals in the three bouts.

Puck Drop: "We worked hard, were getting our opportunities, but it was about not being able to bury that next one. I thought we played a full 60 minutes and played a great game, but at the end of the day, we didn't get the two points we needed." -- Rangers forward Ryan Callahan after Sunday's 4-2 loss to Philadelphia
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