NY Rangers at Carolina
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Saturday, December 20, 2014
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
Rick Nash and the surging New York Rangers look to continue their torrid stretch when they vie their 12th win in 13 meetings with the host Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. Nash scored twice to reach the 20-goal plateau for the 11th consecutive season as New York skated to its season-best fourth straight victory, a 5-2 triumph at Calgary on Tuesday. Nash has collected eight goals and six assists during his career-high 11-game point streak for the Rangers, who have won eight of those contests.
Nash scored in a shootout and Henrik Lundqvist stopped all three attempts in the bonus format as New York posted a 2-1 win over Carolina on Oct. 16. Chris Terry tallied in that contest and did so again on Thursday as the Hurricanes snapped their season-high six-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over Toronto. The offensive explosion was a welcome one for Carolina, which scored exactly one goal in each of its previous six contests.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), FSN Carolinas
ABOUT THE RANGERS (15-10-4): Derick Brassard scored in the team's first meeting and participated in practice on Friday in his first action since being diagnosed with the mumps. Brassard replaced J.T. Miller and worked on a line with Nash and Mats Zuccarello in practice, although his availability for Saturday's contest won't be known until after the morning skate. Should Brassard return versus Carolina, Miller is expected to shift to right wing and play on the team's third line with Lee Stempniak being tested for mumps.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (9-19-3): Captain Eric Staal notched a pair of assists against the Maple Leafs but has just one goal in his last 12 games. Defenseman Andrej Sekera has picked up the pace with one tally and three assists in his last four contests. "Overall, to get that winning atmosphere in the locker room is a lot of fun," said Cam Ward, who made 25 saves against Toronto to improve to 5-4-1 at home this season.
1. While Lundqvist has been confirmed to start versus the Hurricanes, fellow G Cam Talbot (2-3-1, two shutouts, 2.34 goals-against average) agreed to a one-year, $1.45 million extension on Friday.
2. The Metropolitan Division rivals will reconvene at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
3. New York is mired in a 1-for-15 stretch on the power play over its last five contests.
PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Hurricanes 1
Stats and Records