Rangers at Hurricanes: Game Day Preview

It's time for the traditional New Year's Eve game.  This year the Carolina Hurricanes, (10-22-7) will be facing the New York Rangers (18-17-4), a team which beat them 3-1, at the RBC on December 21. 

The Canes are coming off a big win in Washington on Monday night and should be feeling fairly good about themselves.  The new line of Matt Cullen, Jussi Jokinen, and Eric Staal has been producing points since the moment they were put together in the third period against Philadelphia, two games ago.

The line of Brandon Sutter, Tuomo Ruutu, and Ray Whitney has not looked bad either.   Sutter has the longest point streak on the team with points in four straight games and has scored goals in three straight.

Look for Cam Ward to be between the pipes again, probably facing Henrik Lundqvist.


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Cam Ward 24 1308 5 13 69 3.17 663 594 .896 0


GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2009 - Henrik Lundqvist 35 2003 16 14 83 2.49 1035 952 .920 1



"King Henrik" was run off the ice after the first period last night by the Philadelphia Flyers, so the New Yorker's will probably go right back with him tonight.  The Flyers embarrassed the Rangers 6-0, so you better believe the blueshirts will be loaded for bear for this one.

By the way, the goalie with the shutout, Michael Leighton, will most likely be starting the Winter Classic.  Talk about moving from the poorhouse to the penthouse.  Leighton has a record of 4-0 with a save percentage of .951 and a GAA of 1.5 since he was acquired on re-entry waivers from the Hurricanes.  (More about him later.)

The Canes will need to plug up some holes in their own end and keep an eye on number 10, Marian Gaborik, who had a major hand in beating the home team last week Monday.  Of course, they will also be looking to put more goals on the scoreboard themselves.

This game  will be the first of a home-and-home matchup, with the next game in Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon.

There is a late start tonight, 8 p.m.  The game will be broadcast by both FS Carolina's and 99.9 The Fan.

For more information about the Rangers, check out Blueshirt Banter.

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