Rangers looking to extend winstreak against the ‘Canes; Brassard to play
The Rangers (15-10-4) will look to extend their season-best four game win streak against the Carolina Hurricanes (9-19-3) in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is the first game of a home-and-home series, with the final game being played tomorrow at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers and the Hurricanes have played once before this season, and the Blueshirts walked away with a 2-1 victory in the shootout. Henrik Lundqvist started and made 29 saves in the win, and Anton Khudobin stopped 33 of 34 shots. Derick Brassard scored the only goal in regulation for the Rangers.
Speaking of Brassard, the Blueshirts first line center confirmed that he would play tonight, saying that he felt better than yesterday. Having him on the first line again is important. Brassard is the second leading scorer on the team with 24 points (8-16-24).
With Lee Stempniak out of the lineup due to symptoms of the mumps, JT Miller will be moved to his slot in the lineup. Miller has three goals and an assist in seven games since being recalled, and will have played every forward position after tonight. Miller has been aggressive, versatile, and has played very well since he rejoined the team.
Henrik Lundqvist is one of the players to watch for the Rangers. Lundqvist has started every game of the Rangers four game win streak, and has allowed just six goals in those games. However, only three of the goals came over the past three games during the Western Canada road trip.
Lundqvist has appeared to be at the top of his game lately, and has improved his season stats with his recent success. Lundqvist’s goals allowed average has dropped to 2.49 and he now has a save percentage of .912.
In his career, Lundqvist is 18-9-1 against Carolina, with a 2.14 GAA, a .925 save percentage, and one shutout. In his last 12 appearances against the Hurricanes, he is 10-2, allowing just one goal or fewer in seven of those games.
The other player to watch is obviously Rick Nash. The 30 year old winger is off to a tremendous start, having already scored 20 goals as well as picking up 13 assists, giving him a total of 33 points in just 29 games this year. Nash is also in the midst of a career best 11 game point streak, scoring eight goals and six assists in that span. Nash has at least a point in 24 of the Rangers 29 games this season.
The Hurricanes won their last game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday by a final score of 4-1, but lost six straight before that. Defenseman Justin Faulk leads the team with 19 points (6-13-19) but is a minus-13, and Eric Staal has 18 points (7-11-18) this season, but has a minus-10 rating.
The Hurricanes have been a competitive team despite their losses, with 17 of their 22 defeats coming by two goals or fewer. Their special teams have also been pretty decent, with their power play ranked 15th in the league and their penalty kill ranked 11th in the league.
The Rangers and the Hurricanes will begin the first game of a home-and-home series against the Hurricanes tonight at 7 PM in Carolina. The game will be broadcasted on MSG Network.
Rick Nash-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Martin St. Louis
Carl Hagelin-Kevin Hayes-JT Miller
Tanner Glass-Dominic Moore-Jesper Fast
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Dan Boyle
Matt Hunwick-Kevin Klein
Posted on December 20, 2014, in Game Previews and tagged Alain Vigneault, Anthony Duclair, Cam Talbot, Carl Hagelin, Carolina Hurricanes, Chris Kreider, Dan Boyle, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, Dominic Moore, Edmonton Oilers, Eric Staal, Henrik Lundqvist, Jesper Fast, John Moore, Jordan Staal, JT Miller, Kevin Hayes, Kevin Klein, King Henrik, Lee Stempniak, Madison Square Garden, Marc Staal, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Matt Hunwick, MSG, Mumps, New York Rangers, NHL, NHL 2014-2015 Season, NHL Mumps, NY Rangers, NYR, Oscar Lindberg, Rangers Nation, Rangerstown, Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, The Duke, The Ranger Zone, Vancouver Canucks. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.