Carolina at NY Rangers
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Saturday, January 31, 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
The New York Rangers breezed into the All-Star break on a blistering 16-3-0 run but since have lost two straight to fall into eighth place in the Eastern Conference. New York looks to get back on track when it plays the second contest of its four-game homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. After dropping a 4-1 decision to the New York Islanders on Tuesday, the Rangers' offense was stymied by Montreal All-Star Carey Price en route to a 1-0 setback two nights later.
The Rangers have won three consecutive one-goal decisions versus Carolina this season and claimed 14 of the last 15 meetings with their Metropolitan Division rival - including eight straight at home. The Hurricanes saw their three-game winning streak come to a halt but recorded at least a point for the ninth time in 11 contests (7-2-2) with a 3-2 shootout loss to St. Louis on Friday. All-Star defenseman Justin Faulk scored in his second straight contest and has two goals and three assists during his three-game point streak.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Carolinas, MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (17-25-6): Cam Ward was expecting to get the nod on Saturday before being summoned into the contest versus the Blues after Anton Khudobin yielded two goals on three shots. "It's difficult," Ward told the Raleigh News & Observer. "But part of being a professional is you've go to be ready at any given time." Ward has struggled on the road this season, posting a 3-11-1 mark with a 2.89 goals-against average.
ABOUT THE RANGERS (27-15-4): Mats Zuccarello has collected an assist in each of the three meetings with Carolina this season and has 13 points in as many career games versus the Hurricanes. The 27-year-old Norwegian certainly could use a boost as he has just one assist in his last seven contests overall. Henrik Lundqvist suffered the hard-luck loss to the Canadiens on Thursday but owns an impressive 19-9-1 career mark with a 2.13 goals-against average versus the Hurricanes.
1. Captain Ryan McDonagh scored the lone goal in the Rangers' 1-0 triumph over Carolina on Dec. 21 but since has recorded one tally and four assists.
2. Hurricanes LW Chris Terry has scored twice against the Rangers this season but has been held without a point since a 3-2 loss on Dec. 20.
3. Rangers D Dan Girardi had a maintenance day on Friday, but coach Alain Vigneault expects him to play versus the Hurricanes.
PREDICTION: Rangers 3, Hurricanes 0
Stats and Records