NEW YORK RANGERS at CAROLINA HURRICANES
Friday, Mar. 7, 7:00 p.m. ET
PNC Arena – Raleigh, NC
Rangers: 33-26-4 (70 pts)
Hurricanes: 27-26-9 (63 pts)
The Rangers will face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG 2; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), in a Metropolitan Division matchup. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Metropolitan Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 33-26-4 (70 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-2, in overtime on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, in an Original Six matchup. The Blueshirts have now registered a point in 13 of their last 19 games (12-6-1), and are 17-8-2 in their last 27. The Hurricanes enter the contest with a 27-26-9 (63 pts) record to rank 13th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost five of their last six games. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, Mar. 9, at Madison Square Garden (12:30 p.m.), in an Original Six matinée matchup.
RANGERS vs. HURRICANES:
• All-Time: 63-48-7-2 overall (38-17-4-2 at home; 25-31-3-0 on the road)
• 2013-14: Tonight is the second of four meetings this season, and the first of two meetings at PNC Arena. New York is 1-0-0 (1-0-0 at home; 0-0-0 on the road), following a 5-1 win on Nov. 2 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers out-shot the Hurricanes, 38-28, including a 27-14 advantage through two periods, while their power play was 1-4 (25.0%) in the contest. The line of Derek Stepan (three goals), Chris Kreider (three assists), and Mats Zuccarello (three assists) combined for Stepan’s second career hat trick, while Carl Hagelin notched two goals. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves.
• Last Season: New York was 3-0-0 overall (1-0-0 at home; 2-0-0 on the road). Two of the three contests were decided by one goal, including a 2-1 shootout victory on Mar. 18 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers’ power play was 3-11 (27.3%) in the series, while the penalty kill was 9-10 (90.0%). Derek Stepan led all skaters in scoring with three goals and five points in three games, while Carl Hagelin tied for the series lead with three assists. Henrik Lundqvist was 3-0-0 with a 1.60 GAA and .950 Sv%.
• The Rangers enter the contest with a nine-game winning streak against the Hurricanes, including five straight wins at Carolina, and have out-scored the Hurricanes 36-17 during the streak
• The Blueshirts have allowed two goals or fewer in six of the last eight games against the Hurricanes
• New York is 18-11-0 on the road; Carolina is 15-12-5 at home
• The Rangers are 11-10-3 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents; the Hurricanes are 11-7-1 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents
• New York lists no former Hurricanes on its roster
• Carolina lists two former Rangers on its roster: Radek Dvorak (1999-00 – 2002-03); Manny Malhotra (1998-99 – 2002-03)
INDIVIDUAL CAREER LEADERS vs. HURRICANES:
• Henrik Lundqvist – 24 GP, 15-8-1, 1 SO, 2.21 GAA
• Martin St. Louis – 76 GP, 38-49–87
• Brad Richards – 54 GP, 15-33–48
• Derek Stepan – 12 GP, 6-5–11
• Ryan McDonagh – 10 GP, 1-5–6
• The Rangers power play is 13-62 (21.0%) in the last 21 games, and 21-92 (22.8%) in the last 29
• Have tallied two or more power play goals in eight games this season
• Tied for seventh in the league in combined PP% + PK% (103.3%)
• Power Play: The Rangers were 0-1 (2:00) on Wednesday vs. Toronto. New York ranks 11th in the NHL overall (41-203, 20.2%), and second on the road (23-90, 25.6%). The Rangers are 5-16 (6:55) in five-on-three situations (last – 1/19 vs. WSH), and 0-6 (6:56) when four-on-three (last – 1/19 vs. WSH). Shorthanded goals allowed (6): 10/8 at SJS (Vlasic); 10/24 at PHI (Read); 11/19 vs. BOS (Paille); 12/20 vs. NYI (Clutterbuck, PS); 12/20 vs. NYI (Grabner); 3/2 vs. BOS (Campbell).
• Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts were 2-2 (4:00) and notched two shorthanded goals on Wednesday vs. Toronto. New York ranks 11th in the NHL overall (152-183, 83.1%), and 14th on the road (75-91, 82.4%). The Rangers are 3-6 (5:44) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/4 vs. COL), and 6-8 (6:06) when three-on-four (last – 1/21 vs. NYI). Shorthanded goals for (5): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh); 12/27 at WSH (Hagelin); 1/19 vs. WSH (Callahan); 3/5 vs. TOR (McDonagh); 3/5 vs. TOR (D. Moore).
• Four-on-Four: New York yielded one goal in two four-on-four situations (1:45), and did not tally/yield a goal in one three-on-three situation (1:03) on Wednesday vs. Toronto. The Rangers are now -2 in 70 four-on-four situations (113:18), and even in one three-on-three situation (1:03) this season. Four-on-four goals for (6): 10/16 at WSH (J. Moore); 10/26 at DET (Brassard); 12/12 vs. CBJ (Girardi); 12/18 vs. PIT (Hagelin); 1/31 vs. NYI (Brassard); 1/31 vs. NYI (McDonagh). Four-on-four goals allowed (8): 10/3 at PHX (Vrbata); 10/7 at LAK (Muzzin); 10/12 at STL (Backes); 12/8 vs. WSH (Grabovski, PS); 12/18 vs. PIT (Sutter); 12/27 at WSH (Fehr); 1/6 vs. CBJ (Atkinson); 3/5 vs. TOR (Bozak).
SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS: Martin St. Louis made his Rangers debut on Wednesday vs. Toronto after being acquired from Tampa Bay earlier in the day. St. Louis is a two-time Art Ross Trophy winner (2003-04, 2012-13) and the 2003-04 Hart Memorial Trophy winner as the league’s Most Valuable Player. He is currently tied for sixth in the NHL in goals (29), 10th in points (61), eighth in power play goals (nine), 23rd in power play points (18), 27th in assists (32), and ranks third among league forwards in average ice time (21:40). St. Louis has registered 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) over his last 21 games, including a 10-game point streak from Jan. 7 – Jan. 25, and tallied his 600th career assist on Jan. 30 at Ottawa.
HOW SWEEP IT IS: The Rangers have swept the season series against the Hurricanes in each of the last two seasons, and enter the contest with a nine-game winning streak against Carolina. The Blueshirts have out-scored the Hurricanes, 36-17, during the streak, which began with a 4-3 shootout victory on Feb. 22, 2011 at Carolina. The Rangers have won five straight games against the Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden, tallying 18 goals while allowing six over the span. The Blueshirts also have a five-game winning streak at Carolina, and have won seven of their last eight meetings in Raleigh. Prior to 2011-12, the last time the Rangers swept the season series against the Hurricanes was during the 2002-03 season (4-0-0).
HAT TRICK TRIO: Derek Stepan posted his second career hat trick with three goals in the Rangers’ 5-1 win on Nov. 2 vs. Carolina. Stepan, along with linemates Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello, combined for nine points in the contest, with Kreider and Zuccarello assisting on each of Stepan’s three goals. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the sixth time since the start of the 2005-06 season that a trio accounted for all of the scoring on a hat trick, with Anaheim’s line of Kyle Palmieri (hat trick), Corey Perry, and Ryan Getzlaf being the last to accomplish the feat on Feb. 27, 2013.
ROAD WARRIORS: New York has won 16 of its last 21 contests on the road, including a six-game winning streak from Jan. 4 – Feb. 7. The Rangers also won six straight on the road from Oct. 26 – Nov. 23, marking the first time the Rangers posted two separate six-game winning streaks on the road in a season. The Blueshirts are now 18-11-0 on the road this season, which is tied for first in the Eastern Conference and third in the league overall (road wins). The Rangers’ power play ranks second in the NHL on the road (23-90, 25.6%).
KING HENRIK: Henrik Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of his last 15 games (10-4-1, 2.13 GAA, .930 Sv%, and one shutout over the span), and is 12-5-2 with a 2.29 GAA, .925 Sv%, and one shutout in his last 19 appearances. Lundqvist won his 20th game of the season with a 4-1 victory on Jan. 31 against the Islanders, to extend his streak as the only goalie in the league with an active streak of nine-straight 20-win seasons. Now in his ninth season, Lundqvist is two wins away from the 300th of his NHL career, and three wins away from Mike Richter’s franchise record of 301 career victories.
• Henrik Lundqvist – 2 wins from 300th NHL career
• Brian Boyle – 4 points from 100th NHL career
• Dominic Moore – 1 point from 200th NHL career
INJURIES (102 Man-Games Lost):
• Mats Zuccarello (fractured hand on 2/16, 3-4 weeks) – 4
• Mar. 5 – Acquired Martin St. Louis from Tampa Bay in exchange for Ryan Callahan, a 2nd round pick in 2014 and a 1st round pick in 2015
• Mar. 5 – Acquired Raphael Diaz from Vancouver in exchange for a 5th round pick in 2015
• Mar. 5 – Assigned J.T. Miller to Hartford (AHL)
• Feb. 28 – Agreed to terms with Dan Girardi on a contract extension
Photos by Getty Images.