The New York Rangers welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to Madison Square Garden for a date on Friday night in NYC. The Rangers nabbed a nice win over the Bruins on Wednesday in a shootout. It could have gone either way, as it became an extended shootout as Tony DeAngelo went bar down over the shoulder of Halak for the winner in the seventh round.
The Bruins couldn’t convert on their next go-around in the shootout, which effectively ended the game and gave the Rangers a victory. It was an impressive showing simply because the Rangers came back to win. They’ve been on the receiving end of several blown leads, including Monday against the Kings. However, for a night, the Rangers were on the good side of a comeback.
The Hurricanes are playing on a back-to-back tonight after going to overtime with the Sabres last night. They went up 5-3 in the 3rd, but quickly gave it back before the end of regulation. Teuvo Teravainen made sure that it wasn’t going to be a complete collapse, though, as he closed the Sabres out with a game winner for the Hurricanes. Carolina is one of those teams a lot of people don’t want to take too seriously, though they keep lingering around and being a thorn in the side of several clubs this season.
It was a big win for the Hurricanes, as they jump ahead of the Sabres, while Buffalo continues to freefall. That’s another point that may come back to bite the Sabres. They’re still living off that ten-game winning streak. Everything else has been average to below average for them other than that quick run. The Hurricanes will turn their attention to the Rangers tonight for another pivotal matchup. With the win last night, they are just 3 points behind the Penguins for the final seed in the Eastern Conference. Another win tonight has them trailing by only 1 point. Head below for our free Hurricanes vs. Rangers pick in the lone game on the NHL schedule.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. N.Y. Rangers Pick
Mrazek will see the crease tonight against the Rangers. The Hurricanes survived last night despite a poor outing from Curtis McElhinney. With the amount of action the Hurricanes create around the net, though, they have a good shot at winning high-scoring games. They lead the NHL in shots per game, and we’ve started to see the puck fall in the back of the net at a pretty fast clip as well.
Carolina have recorded 4.6 goals per game in their previous five games. They didn’t want to keep Jeff Skinner in Raleigh, but it would have been interesting to see what this offence would be with him on this version of the Hurricanes. Skinner scored a couple of goals against his former team last night, but was rejected when going for a hat-trick in overtime.
The hot Hurricanes’ offence will take on a Rangers team who are 26th with an average of 3.32 goals allowed per game. It makes sense that their penalty kill has been woefully inadequate as well. Lundqvist got the night off against the Bruins, but will likely get the call against the Hurricanes tonight. He enters with a 3.04 GAA and 0.906 save percentage. If his name wasn’t Henrik, he wouldn’t have been in the All-Star Game.
The Hurricanes and Rangers have played twice already this season, with the Hurricanes winning 8-5 and the Rangers capturing a 6-2 win in the next meeting. Mrazek hasn’t had the best of performances against the Rangers in his career, with a 3.64 GAA and 0.863.
I wouldn’t like betting against a Carolina offence that is scoring this easily, but Mrazek is the questionable entity in this matchup. The Rangers are such a hit and miss team that it’s difficult to ascertain where their head is going to be at night to night, but their offence tends to come play at home regularly. This likely doesn’t cruise over the total as easily as it did in Buffalo last night, but nevertheless tonight should provide more than 6 goals on the scoreboard.