There’s a storm brewing.
On November 22 these teams faced-off in Carolina, with the Blueshirts winning 6-1. A pair of three-goal periods (first and third) and a pair of two-goal games (Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast) led the visitors to victory.
This time around, the game will be played in the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden. But they’re only friendly if you wear blue and white.
The Rangers have won eight of their last nine at home and have won 13-straight against the Hurricanes in MSG. The 13-game streak — dating back to January 5, 2011 — is the longest winning-streak against one opponent in franchise history.
Having lost a rematch with Florida after beating the Panthers in Sunrise earlier this month, the Blueshirts look to avoid the same fate against Carolina.
DEEP ROOTED CONNECTIONS
The Staal Brothers — Marc (Rangers) and Jordan (Carolina) — along with Eric (Minnesota), are the only trio of brothers in the history of Big Four Sports (NHL, NFL, MLB and NBA) who were all selected 12th overall or higher in their respective Drafts.
With the 157th overall pick (sixth-round) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft the Rangers selected Jesper Fast. They were in possession of the pick thanks to a trade with Carolina.
The Blueshirts have won 22 of 26 games against the Hurricanes. This streak goes back to February 22, 2011. During that stretch the Rangers are 22-4-0.
Chris Kreider: His next goal and assist will be the 100th of his career, respectively. Kreider is also two-points shy of 200 for his career.
Nick Holden: His next point will be the 100th of his NHL career.
PLAYER TO WATCH
HURRICANES: NOAH HANIFIN. This third-year defenseman has been hot lately. With five-points in his last five-games, Hanifin has already tied his career-high in goals (4), and is on pace to shatter his career-high of 29-points. He’s at 13 right now.
RANGERS: DAVID DESHARNAIS. Coming in for Zibanejad against Florida, Desharnais registered three-assists. On top of him having the “hot-hand” David has nine-points in his last 11 games against Carolina (3G, 6A).
One player exits, another returns.
Ryan McDonagh returns to the lineup after missing four games with an abdominal strain. Either Nick Holden or Steven Kampfer will join McDonagh on the top-pairing against the ‘Canes.
Meanwhile, Mika Zibanejad will miss his second straight game with a concussion. With Zibanejad out, David Desharnais remains in the lineup, playing between Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich. The modified KZB — now KDB — registered nine-points during their loss to the Panthers.
Henrik Lundqvist, who was pulled in the middle of the team’s loss to Florida, returns to his net seeking a rebound performance.
WHERE TO WATCH
The game will be broadcast on MSG Network at 7pm ET. For in-game coverage check out our Twitter account @NYRBlueBulletin.
After winning their previous encounter with Carolina 6-1, the Blueshirts need to be on guard against a letdown. They learned that lesson the hard way, losing to Florida 5-4.
The Rangers 5-4 loss has been attributed to sloppy play. A healthy McDonagh means that those issues will be fixed and the Rangers can return to their winning ways.