With 15 games left in the regular season, the New York Rangers are looking to get on a wave of momentum as they seek to secure their seventh consecutive playoff berth.
Winners of two in a row, they’ll look to extend their two points streak further on Thursday night, when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes (7:00, MSG).
The Rangers (43-22-2) are in the midst of a four game road trip, and will conclude a trio of games in the Southeast with this game, having earned wins in two trips to Florida, most recently defeating the Panthers by a 5-2 final in Sunrise on Tuesday. The fourth line led the way, with Tanner Glass earning a goal and an assist, while Oscar Lindberg had two helpers. Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, Nick Holden, and Pavel Buchnevich had the other Ranger goals, while Henrik Lundqvist earned the 404th win of his career, moving him into sole possession of 10th all-time on the goalies’ win list.
The Hurricanes (26-27-10) have fallen out playoff contention with a 2-7-3 stretch, the nadir probably coming in their last game, a 3-1 loss to the league’s cellar dwellers, the Colorado Avalanche, also on Tuesday. Carolina had the lead after the first period, going up 1-0 after a goal by Justin Faulk, but couldn’t stave off three unanswered Avalanche goals.
This will be the fourth and final meeting between the Rangers and the Hurricanes this season, with the Rangers taking two of the previous three matchups. Carolina took the only previous matchup at PNC Arena on October 28, but the Rangers took a pair of games on November 29 and December 3 at Madison Square Garden. In the latter game, won by a 4-2 margin, Kreider had two third period goals, while Derek Stepan and Michael Grabner also added goals.