The New York Rangers and the Carolina Hurricanes will be battling for a future playoff spot as both teams put their three game winning streaks on the line tonight at the RBC. The Hurricanes are presently in ninth place in the conference with 75 points, but could jump over the Rangers as well as a couple of other teams who each have 76.
The important matchup will be covered nationwide on the Versus Television Network beginning at 7PM.
This will be the third of four meetings between the clubs this year, and the Rangers have won both previous games to date by scores of 3-2. The two teams split their series last season.
The Rangers are riding high with the newly acquired pickups of Sean Avery, (waivers), Nik Antropov, (trade), and Derek Morris (trade). Speaking of newcomers, the New Yorkers are 3-1-1 since hiring coach John Tortorella.
The leading scorers for New York are:
|2008 - Nikolai Zherdev||66||19||31||50||8||31||4||1||2||1||178||10.7|
|2008 - Nik Antropov||65||22||27||49||-13||24||6||0||2||1||176||12.5|
|2008 - Scott Gomez||61||15||33||48||-4||46||3||1||6||0||212||7.1|
Eric Staal recently took over team honors for the Canes, after his career best six point night on Saturday.
|2008 - Eric Staal||67||32||26||58||4||46||11||1||8||0||305||10.5|
|2008 - Ray Whitney||67||21||35||56||-9||26||6||0||1||2||183||11.5|
|2008 - Tuomo Ruutu||64||19||25||44||-2||63||5||0||3||0||146||13.0|
Since goalie Henrik Lundqvist has started 13 straight for the Rangers, (including yesterday's win over Boston), he will get a break and backup Steve Valiquette will be in net tonight for New York.
|2008 - Stephen Valiquette||13||701||5||4||1||1||33||2.82||356||323||.907||1|
Cam Ward will be starting his 15th in a row for the Canes.
|2008 - Cam Ward||54||3107||29||21||3||10||132||2.55||1472||1340||.910||4|
Several players have a variety of streaks going. Eric Staal has points in five consecutive games. Matt Cullen, Erik Cole, and Chad LaRose have points in three straight. Anton Babchuk has eight points in the last nine games.
Coach Maurice indicated that he will keep the lines the same as the previous game.
- Staal, Ruutu, Cole
- Cullen, Whitney, LaRose
- Brind'Amour, Samsonov, Eaves
- Heliminen, Conboy, Ryan
- Corvo, Gleason
- Pitkanen, Babchuk
- Wallin, Seidenberg
Brandon Sutter was recalled from Albany today, but will sit out. Scott Walker will be out as well, as will Frank Kaberle.
Familiar voice, John Forslund will get the play-by-play call tonight for Versus.