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Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers: Game 4 Preview

Never mind M.T. Knett; the Hurricanes’ true nemesis is literally any building other than PNC Arena. Can the Canes turn the tide at MSG tonight?

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

Of all places, Madison Square Garden is probably the least preferable location for the Carolina Hurricanes to break their road-game hex during these playoffs. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that the Canes had a winless streak in Manhattan that stretched for more than nine years.

But if the Hurricanes are going to make a run to the Stanley Cup, at some point they’re going to win a game in enemy territory. If they can do it tonight, they’ll return to Raleigh on Thursday with a chance to close out the series. Why not make this their final trip to New York this season?

The Hurricanes are the only team remaining in the playoffs to have not won a road game. Breaking that streak will require the Canes to solve Igor Shesterkin – and it certainly wouldn’t hurt if Antti Raanta put together another lengthy shutout streak to go along with his 125+ minute run that ended in the first period of Game 3.

Here we go.

Game Notes

  • Before you get too carried away, he left halfway through practice in what appeared to be a scheduled departure. The net is still Antti Raanta’s for tonight, although Andersen appears to be getting closer to a return.
  • Speaking of Raanta, you should really read this profile from a journalist who covered him in the early days of his career, Mark Lazerus of The Athletic. You may come off liking ol’ Andy Beeach even more than you already do.
  • The Hurricanes have scored just seven goals on road ice during the playoffs. That’s the fewest of any team still alive, and their -10 goal differential is also the lowest of any remaining team. (At home, it’s a different story: they’re tops in the playoffs with 22 goals and a +15 at PNC Arena.)
  • Say what you will about Martin Necas, but maybe we should be considering him for a Lady Byng nomination at some point. In 29 career playoff games, Necas has never taken a single penalty. (Not even the sainted Jaccob Slavin can say that!)
  • Sebastian Aho has faced the Rangers in six playoff games in his career, including the three in the bubble in 2020. Sunday’s game was the first time he did not score a point.
  • To say nothing of the Hurricanes’ struggles on the road, the Rangers are right behind them in terms of their own prowess on home ice. They’re 5-1 at MSG this season, with the only loss coming in triple overtime of Game 1 against the Penguins. If they win again tonight, they’ll tie the club record for consecutive home playoff wins.