Carolina Hurricanes (18-15-5) @ New York Rangers (22-15-3) (7PM EST)
The Rangers return home to Madison Square Garden tonight as they look to rebound against the Carolina Hurricanes after a less than spectacular road-trip through the sunshine state. The Blueshirts were lifeless in losses to Tampa Bay and Florida this past weekend, salvaging their only point in the dying seconds of Saturday’s game thanks to Marian Gaborik’s late goal. The Rangers would lose in overtime before being blanked in a 3-0 loss to Tomas Vokoun and the Florida Panthers on Sunday evening. Martin Biron was excellent in relief of Henrik Lundqvist, but received scant offensive support as the Rangers lost the second of a back-to-back series for the first time this season.
The Hurricanes currently sit six points behind the Rangers in the Eastern Conference and are looking upwards after winning three of their last four. Jeff Skinner, much like the Rangers’ Derek Stepan, sits atop the rookie scoring charts with 11 goals and 17 assists at the halfway mark of the regular season. Cam Ward and Henrik Lundqvist should be the respective starters; Lundqvist sat out Sunday’s shutout loss in Florida whilst Ward stopped 24 of 28 shots in an overtime defeat to the same team on Monday night.
Jussi Jokinen and Joni Pitkanen aren’t expected to skate for the Hurricanes, whilst Ryan McDonagh is likely to miss out despite recently being called up by the Blueshirts in place of the demoted Michael Del Zotto.
Projected lines; New York.
Brandon Dubinsky - Derek Stepan - Mats Zuccarello
Alexander Frolov - Artem Anisimov - Marian Gaborik
Ruslan Fedotenko - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
Sean Avery - Chris Drury (C) - Dale Weise
Marc Staal (A) - Dan Girardi
Steve Eminger - Michal Rozsival
Michael Sauer - Matt Gilroy
Projected lines; Carolina.
Sergei Samsonov - Eric Staal (C) - Erik Cole
Chad LaRose - Jeff Skinner - Tuomo Ruutu
Zach Boychuk - Brandon Sutter (A) - Patrick Dwyer
Zac Dalpe - Ryan Carter - Troy Bodie
Jamie McBain - Tim Gleason (A)
Ian White - Joe Corvo
Jay Harrison - Brett Carson