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Preview: Blueshirts Return Home to Take on Hurricanes at MSG

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

Rangers (30-32-7, 67 pts) vs Hurricanes (30-27-11, 71 pts)
7 pm; Madison Square Garden
MSG Network; ESPN 98.7 FM

The Game

The Rangers return home after a quick two-game road trip through Florida to host a Metropolitan Division matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden.

The Blueshirts overcame two third period deficits Saturday night to earn a point in a 4-3 shootout loss against the Panthers in Florida. Mats Zuccarello, Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes all scored, while Henrik Lundqvist was strong in a losing effort.

 

New York won the first two meetings between the two clubs this season, most recently a 5-1 win in Carolina back on Dec. 1. The Ranger have outscored the Hurricanes, 11-2, in the two games, with Paul Carey, Jesper Fast and Chris Kreider each posting two goals. 

The Hurricanes have struggled as of late with three wins in their last 10 games, but are coming off a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. Their recent slide has hurt their playoff chances, as they enter play tonight six points behind Columbus for the second wild card spot in the East.

Teuvo Teravainen leads the club with 53 points, including 34 assists, while Sebastian Aho has a team-high 24 goals to go along with 52 points. 

Carolina's goaltending tandem of Cam Ward and Scott Darling have struggled this season, with Ward going 19-11-4 with a .907 SV%, while Darling is 11-16-7 with an .890 SV%.

Players to Watch

In his last 21 appearances against Carolina (dating back to Feb. 22, 2011), Lundqvist has posted an 18-3-0 record, along with a 1.74 GAA, a .942 SV%, and 1 SO. Lundqvist has earned more wins against the Hurricanes than any other NHL goaltender over the span. In his last 12 appearances against Carolina at MSG (dating back to Jan. 5, 2011), Lundqvist has posted a 12-0-0 record, along with a 1.23 GAA, a .960 SV%, and 1 SO, and he has allowed one goal or fewer in nine of the 12 contests.

Veteran Justin Williams has been hot as of late with four goals and two assists in his last five games for the Hurricanes.

Inside the Numbers

The Rangers enter the contest with a 14-game home winning streak against Carolina, dating back to Jan. 5, 2011. The streak is the longest the Blueshirts have registered against one opponent in franchise history.

The Rangers have won 23 of their last 27 games against the Hurricanes, dating back to Feb. 22, 2011 (23-4-0 record over the span). New York has also won 13 of its last 16 games against Carolina, dating back to Apr. 8, 2014 (13-3-0 record).

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