New York Rangers look to stop surging Hurricanes
The New York Rangers are coming off a feel good win over the Florida Panthers on Sunday. After scoring two power play goals and seeing backup Jaroslav Halak stop 32 of 35 shots, the Blueshirts snapped a two-game losing streak (0-1-1) for their first win out of the holiday break.
Now they will square off against the hottest team in the NHL.
The Carolina Hurricanes edged the New Jersey Devils in a shootout on Sunday to extend their franchise record winning streak to 11 straight games. It will be the first time these two teams have met since the Rangers defeated the Canes in last year’s playoffs.
Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:
New York Rangers (20-12-6) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (25-6-6)
Date/Time: January 3, 2023 at 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Madison Square Garden
Radio: ESPN 98.7
New York Rangers take on Hurricanes
While the Hurricanes are red-hot, the Blueshirts have also been on a decent run that began with a third period comeback win over the St. Louis Blues on December 5. Since that victory, the Rangers are 9-2-1.
One of the key reasons for the Rangers recent success has been their play in the third period. The Blueshirts now rank fifth this season for third period goals with 49 and have a +13 goal differential.
Vincent Trocheck will also be facing his former team for the first time after playing three seasons in Carolina. The Blueshirts targeted him as a top priority in free-agency and gave him a 7-year deal with an AAV of $5.625 in July. So far, the 29 year-old center has 30 points in 38 games.
“[Trocheck] played with those guys last couple of year and I think he’ll be excited,” Gerard Gallant said. “He’s obviously a competitive guy that plays hard. He wants that offensive side of the game. He’s the same player I had in Florida but with more experience and confidence.”
Igor Shesterkin is expected to return to the net after being given a rare night off over the weekend. For his career versus the Canes, Shesty is 1-2-0 in three regular season contests with a 3.07 GAA and an .899 save percentage.
While Shesterkin’s regular season stats aren’t great, in last year’s 7 games series win over Carolina he posted big time numbers. In that series, his record was 4-3 with an astonishing GAA of 1.72 and a .949 save percentage.
“Carolina is a great team and they’re on a roll,” Gallant noted. “I thought we played a great series against them. I thought we played some of our best [hockey] in that series… it was a battle and we found a way to win that Game 7 in their building.”
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