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GAME DAY: Rangers in Raleigh For Divisional Clash

Seek 4th Win in 5 Games in First Matchup with Canes

by Michael Obernauer

RANGERS at HURRICANES, 7 p.m.
PNC Arena
MSG Network, 98.7 FM

GAME DAY
Winners of three of their last four and four out of six, the Rangers now turn their sights on a division foe in their first meeting of the season with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Rangers got right back in the win column on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden with a 5-1 drubbing of the Red Wings, and on Thursday night complete their second back-to-back set of the season, facing an opponent against whom the win column has been a familiar landing spot: The Rangers are 27-6-0 in their last 33 meetings with the Hurricanes, dating to February 2011.

They won on Wednesday behind points from 11 different players and multiple points from four, including a goal and an assist each from Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome and Tony DeAngelo. Panarin upped his points streak to six games and his team-leading point total to 14, with Strome right behind at 13 on the strength of four multi-point nights in his last six games.

But it was DeAngelo's power-play goal, a putback of Brendan Lemieux's crafty shot from in tight, that got the scoring started against Detroit, and now the Ranger blueliner will look to continue his and his team's success facing Carolina: DeAngelo had five points (2-3--5) in the Rangers' four games against the Hurricanes a season ago, his most points against any opponent in 2018-19.

Here in 2019-20, DeAngelo has 11 points through 13 games, placing him 12th among NHL defenseman; he is third in goals per game at 0.38. With his power-play goal on Wednesday, he is the first Rangers defenseman to have five goals through the season's first 13 games since Brian Leetch in 1988-89.

"Tony has always been an offensive player who's got great instincts, he's got great skills and I'm not surprised he's put up points at this rate," David Quinn said on Wednesday. "He's elevated it this year."

Once DeAngelo and the Rangers had finished off the Red Wings, Quinn still was undecided as to who would get the nets in Raleigh. The Head Coach had expressed his openness to giving Henrik Lundqvist both ends of this back-to-back, depending on how the opener developed -Lundqvist could not have hurt his cause by turning out 35 of 36 Red Wing shots for his 452nd career victory on Wednesday night; nor could it hurt that he has won seven of his last eight starts against the Canes. On the other hand, this is Game 14 of the season, the Rangers have 11 games in 21 days to finish out the month of November, and they also have Alexandar Georgiev, who has won two out of the last three himself.

One of them will face a Carolina team that made the Eastern Conference final back in the spring, then shot out of the gate with five straight wins to start this season. But the Canes are 4-5-1 since, including back-to-back division losses to New Jersey and Philadelphia.

Dougie Hamilton leads the Canes from the blue line with 16 points, but Erik Haula, Carolina's leading goal-scorer with eight, was forced to sit out Tuesday's loss in Philadelphia because of a knee ailment and is up in the air for Thursday against the Blueshirts. A knee injury cost Haula all but 15 games with Vegas a season ago.

Like the Red Wings did at the Garden on Wednesday, Carolina dressed 11 forwards and seven defenseman for what ended in a 4-1 loss in Philly. On Wednesday, the Canes called up 21-year-old forward Eetu Luostarinen, who has scored five times in 10 games for AHL Charlotte and could make his NHL debut against the Rangers. Luostarinen, the Canes' second-round pick (42nd overall) in 2017, was Kaapo Kakko's teammate on Finland's gold-medal winner at the World Championships in May, as well as Kakko's opponent in the Finnish League.

Petr Mrazek allowed four goals on 28 shots in the Canes' loss in Philly, but the Carolina keeper has won 15 consecutive starts on home ice dating to last season, including three wins in the playoffs.


PROJECTED LINEUPS

RANGERS
10 Panarin - 16 Strome - 17 Fast
20 Kreider - 72 Chytil - 89 Buchnevich
48 Lemieux - 21 Howden - 24 Kakko
14 McKegg/38 Haley - 28 Andersson - 42 Smith

25 Hajek - 8 Trouba
76 Skjei - 77 DeAngelo
18 Staal - 23 Fox

40 Georgiev
30 Lundqvist

HURRICANES
21 Niederreiter - 11 Staal - 86 Teravainen
37 Svechnikov - 20 Aho - 13 Foegele
18 Dzingel - 71 Wallmark - 88 Necas
23 McGinn - 43 Luostarinen - 29 Gibbons

74 Slavin - 19 Hamilton
51 Gardiner - 22 Pesce
6 Edmundson - 57 T. van Riemsdyk

34 Mrazek
47 Reimer


NUMBERS GAME

Rookie Adam Fox led the Rangers in ice time on Wednesday night with 19:56, one of five Rangers to eclipse 19 minutes on ice against the Red Wings. It was the first time that no Rangers skater had passed the 20-minute mark since the NHL began tracking time on ice, in 1997-98.

Fox's assist gave him points in four of his last six games. The blueliner was acquired by the Rangers in a trade with the Hurricanes on April 30.

Henrik Lundqvist is 7-1-0 in his last eight games against Carolina with a 1.98 GAA and .960 save percentage. In his career overall, he is 30-12-1 with a 1.98/.933, and has defeated the Hurricanes more than any other goaltender since he entered the NHL.

Tony DeAngelo has multi-point games in four of the last seven (4-5--9 during the span).

Since starting the season 5-0, the Hurricanes are 4-5-1, including four straight losses to Metropolitan Division opponents. Tuesday's 4-1 loss in Philadelphia was the first time the Hurricanes have been held under two goals in 15 games this season.

Dougie Hamilton has scored 41 goals since the start of the 2017-18 season, most by any NHL defenseman. This season he is tied for second among NHL blueliners in goals (six) and points (16).

Jordan Staal's next goal will be his 100th with the Hurricanes. His brother Eric Staal scored 322 goals for Carolina. Only eight sets of brothers have ever scored at least 100 goals for the same franchise.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

Chris Kreider has seven goals and 10 points in his last 10 games against the Hurricanes. The wingers has scored three times in the last six games, including the game-winner on Wednesday night while leading all Ranger forwards with 19:50 on ice.

Andrei Svechnikov scored his first NHL goal against the Rangers last Oct. 7 in Raleigh. The 19-year-old No. 2 overall pick in 2018 leads all teenagers in the NHL with 15 points this season (6-9--15). Kaapo Kakko, 18 and the No. 2 pick of 2019, is tied for fourth with 3-2--5.

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