Preview: Carolina at NY Rangers
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, November 30, 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
The New York Rangers suddenly are facing adversity after a dominant start to the season in which they earned points in 18-of-21 contests (16-3-2). The Rangers have lost three straight games in regulation for the first time this season and look to end the slide when the Carolina Hurricanes pay them a visit on Monday.
“We’re not used to it,” New York defenseman Marc Staal told reporters. “We don’t like it. It’s up to the guys in the room. We have to get together, figure it out and start playing better hockey. It’s pretty simple.” Henrik Lundqvist, who has allowed nine goals in his last two games, is expected back in net for the Rangers after sitting out Saturday’s 3-0 home loss to Philadelphia. Carolina dropped a 4-1 decision at Buffalo on Saturday, failing to get at least one point for only the third time in 10 games (3-3-4). The Hurricanes have dropped seven straight in the series, including a 3-0 loss on Nov. 10.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Carolinas, MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (8-11-4): Defenseman Justin Faulk saw his seven-game point streak end Saturday as he was held without a shot while captain Eric Staal notched an assist for the second straight contest after a four-game point drought. Special teams need to improve after the Hurricanes allowed five power-play goals in their last five games while going 0-for-8 with the man advantage in the past three. Cam Ward, who went 2-0-3 in his previous five games, was pulled Saturday after surrendering three goals on 14 shots.
ABOUT THE RANGERS (16-6-2): New York came up empty with just 24 shots in their first game without versatile center Derek Stepan, who is out indefinitely with broken ribs. While Rick Nash has netted six goals in his last five games, leading scorer Mats Zuccarello needs to pick it up after going four contests without a point. Power forward Chris Kreider (three goals in 24 games) is pointless in his last six contests and told the New York Post, “Up until now, I don’t think things could have gone any more poorly.”
1. Hurricanes C Jordan Staal, one of three brothers in the contest along with Eric and Marc, has recorded only two points in his last nine games.
2. New York C Oscar Lindberg has scored eight goals, tying him for second among all rookies in the league.
3. Carolina C Victor Rask has registered two goals and an assist while posting a plus-3 rating over his last four games.
PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Hurricanes 1