Zac Dalpe and Zach Boychuk will start out this game on the same lines as they ended the last game, as the Carolina Hurricanes, (18-15-5) visit the New York Rangers, (22-15-3) tonight at Madison Square Garden.
Chip Alexander made the road trip and provided the line updates from his Twitter account, (@ice_chip). It's also been confirmed that Tuomo Ruutu will be moved back to center for this matchup while rookie sensation, Jeff Skinner, will play on the wing.
Paul Maurice said after the morning skate that certain "styles" of games will dictate these changes.
Audio of Maurice's interview follows:
The Hurricanes really need a big game tonight, first, to answer for the inconsistent performance against Florida on Monday, but also because the Rangers are six
four points ahead of them in the standings and the Canes need to keep pace.
The duel in goal should be worth the price of admission alone as Cam Ward faces Henrik Lundqvist. While Ward might not have received enough support from voters to be automatically named to the All Star Game, he can still prove himself worthy to NHL Hockey Operations with some huge games before January 11.
|2010 - Cam Ward||33||1891||17||11||81||2.57||1073||992||.925||2|
|2010 - Henrik Lundqvist||31||1805||16||12||72||2.39||917||845||.921||5|
Look for the starting lines to be as follows:
- Staal, Boychuk, Cole
- Sutter, Dalpe, Dwyer
- Ruutu, Skinner, LaRose
- Carter, Samsonov, Bodie
- Gleason, Corvo
- White, Harrison
- McBain, Carson
Eric Staal still leads the Canes with 38 points in 38 games while Ruutu and Skinner are close behind. Jussi Jokinen, Joni Pitkanen, and Jiri Tlusty remain out and did not make the road trip. (Jokinen and Pitkanen could play Sunday.)
Dalpe has goals in two consecutive games while Staal and McBain have assists in two straight.
The Rangers just reassigned one of last year's surprise defenseman, Michael Del Zotto, to the AHL. How fast can things change in the NHL? Del Zotto was the toast of the town last season and had 37 points in 80 games. This season he's down to nine points and coach John Tortorella has healthy scratched him recently.
Ryan McDonagh will take his spot on the blueline.
The Blueshirts are led in scoring by:
|2010 - Brandon Dubinsky||40||16||16||32||-2||46||4||2||1||102|
|2010 - Derek Stepan||40||11||12||23||-2||6||2||0||2||75|
|2010 - Ryan Callahan||32||10||13||23||-2||26||3||0||2||92|
Superstar Marian Gaborik has been in and out of the lineup.
The Rangers are returning home from a three game road trip in which they went 1-1-1. They beat New Jersey, but lost in OT to Tampa Bay, and most recently were shutout by Tomas Vokoun and the Panthers, 3-0 on Sunday afternoon. They are 5-3-2 in their last 10.
For more info about the New Yorker's, visit our SBN partner, Blue Shirt Banter.
The Hurricanes have won three of their last four and have a 6-3-1 record in their last 10.
This will be the second time these two teams have met so far this season as the Canes took game one, 4-3 in New York. Skinner had two goals and an assist in that game.
Happy days are here again as this contest will be televised locally by FS Carolinas starting at 7 p.m. We will have our Open Game Thread cranked up at 6:30.