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Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers: Game Preview

Here we are again, another Tuesday in Manhattan, this time with the division title on the line.

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Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

In their 40-plus year history as an NHL franchise, the Carolina Hurricanes have never won back to back division titles. That fact had to be written today, because by the end of the day it may no longer be applicable. For the final time this (regular) season, the Hurricanes take the ice on the road, with a win over the New York Rangers all that stands between them and the Metropolitan Division crown.

(But it’s not going to be that easy, is it? This is the Hurricanes at MSG we’re talking about, after all.)

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Bruins
Category Hurricanes Bruins
Record 54-20-8 51-26-5
Goals/Game 3.38 3.08
Goals Against/Game 2.44 2.66
Shots/Game 34.12 36.12
Face Off Win % 53.9% 54.2%
Power Play % (Rank) 22.0% (13th) 21.2% (15th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 88.0% (1st) 81.3% (9th)
ES Corsi For % 43.86% 56.14%
ES PDO 113.44 86.56
PIM/Game 12:00 22:00

Goaltender #1

Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Record 35-14-3 26-10-2
Save % .922 .917
GAA 2.17 2.45

Goaltender #2

Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Record 15-5-4 23-14-3
Save % .912 .914
GAA 2.45 2.41

Game Notes

  • The Hurricanes’ assignment tonight is simple: win, and they’ll have home ice advantage for at least the first two rounds of the playoffs. A loss of any sort will keep the division race open to the Canes’ final game of the season on Thursday, although if the Hurricanes earn at least a point tonight, the Rangers will need to win out in their final two games and hope for a Hurricanes regulation loss at home against New Jersey on Thursday.
  • When last these two teams met, exactly two weeks ago, the Hurricanes topped the Rangers 4-2 on the strength of a three-point night from Sebastian Aho. Frederik Andersen stood tall, making 28 saves, as the Canes came from behind to take the win.
  • Andersen will not play tonight, although Sara Civian reports that the Hurricanes are hopeful to have their #1 netminder back to start the playoffs.
  • Also in that update, Antti Raanta’s injury that forced him to leave Sunday’s win over the Islanders was revealed to be nothing worse than a cramp. He will be able to back up Pyotr Kochetkov tonight and will be available if necessary, allowing the Hurricanes to avoid being forced to call someone up to serve as the backup tonight.
  • Speaking of Kochetkov, the guy can play: 2-0 to start his NHL career, and a chance to make it three in a row with the division title on the line tonight. If he does so, he’ll become the second goalie in franchise history to record three straight wins to begin his career, joining Justin Peters’ run in 2010.
  • If Andrei Svechnikov can register an assist tonight, it will mark a high-water mark for Hurricanes’ helpers: not since 1992-93 has the franchise boasted four players with at least 40 assists in a season. Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen (43 apiece) and Tony DeAngelo (41) are already there.
  • Congratulations are in order to Max Domi, who will play in his 500th career game tonight. He’s not one of the multitude of former Rangers in the Hurricanes lineup, but of course there has to be a connection somewhere: although better known for his time with the Maple Leafs, Max’s dad Tie played for the Rangers for parts of three seasons in the early 1990s.