After two dominating victories on home ice over the weekend, the Rangers are back in action where they will look to close the gap to first place in the division (7:00 on MSG).

RangersNHL RankingsHurricanes
7thNHL Standing Rank2nd
11th GF/PG12th

Rangers vs Hurricanes

               The Blueshirts will begin a home-and-home series with the Hurricanes starting with Tuesday night’s game in Madison Square Garden and ending Thursday night in Carolina. The gap in the Metropolitan Division between the first place Hurricanes and the third place Rangers is just six points. With two regulation wins, the Rangers could find themselves just two points behind the Hurricanes as the regular season begins to reach the conclusion. New Jersey is currently just one point behind Carolina in second place. The Hurricanes have played two fewer games then both the Rangers and Devils and while catching Carolina remains unlikely for the Rangers, two regulation wins would certainly be required and it would put an immense amount of pressure on them.

               The Rangers will get a big boost as Ryan Lindgren will make his return to the lineup. Lindgren missed the past eleven-games with an upper-body injury despite only ever being listed as day-to-day. Head coach Gerard Gallant told the media that Lindgren is “ready to go.”

               “It definitely took longer than I was hoping for, but you just want to make sure when you get back out there you can play the way you want to play and not hold back at all,” said Lindgren.

               The 25-year-old will return to his usual spot with defensive partner Adam Fox while Niko Mikkola will be on the third pairing with Braden Schneider. Ben Harpur will be a healthy scratch as the team’s seventh defenseman. This will be the first time the Rangers will have a fully healthy lineup since prior to the trade deadline.

               The Blueshirts will be looking for a repeat performance as they had over the weekend. New York defeated the Penguins and Predators by the scores of 6-0 and 7-0 with each netminder getting a shutout. Mika Zibanejad scored the opening goal in both games and he now has goals in four-straight games.

               The Hurricanes made a couple of tweaks at the trade deadline by bringing in Jesse Puljujarvi and Shayne Gostisbehere. However, the Hurricanes may have wish the deadline came a bit later because shortly after, Carolina lost forward Andrei Svechnikov for the rest of the season. Svechnikov was moved to the LTIR and had surgery on his ACL. But with the deadline passed, Carolina cannot replace him via the trade market and the answer will have to come from within. One name they were reportedly in on is now Devils forward Timo Meier. One would have to assume if the injury happened before the Meier trade, that Carolina would have been more active in trying to acquire the Swiss winger.

               Carolina is a team that gets contributions from up-and-down the lineup. The Blueshirts should be very familiar with the Hurricanes aggressive man-to-man style on defense. Carolina comes at you with a high tempo forecheck and they try to force the opposition into bad passes and turnovers.

               Leading the team in points is Martin Necas who is having himself a career season. The 24-year-old has 64 points in 68 games, His previous career high was 41 points. With three goals to finish the season, Necas will have the first 30 goal season of his career.

               Igor Shesterkin is expected to be in goal for the Blueshirts. Shesterkin is coming off a shut out of the Pittsburgh Penguins in which he made 33 saves. The Russian defender has won each of his last five games and seven of his last eight starts.

               In other Rangers news, the Blueshirts signed Brett Berard to an NHL entry-level contract. Berard was a fifth-round pick in 2020 by the Rangers. The forward recorded 24 points in 36 games this season at Providence College. Berard’s game is of a similar style to Rangers forward Tyler Motte. The 20-year-old will sign an amateur tryout with Hartford and finished the season in the AHL for the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Projected Lineup










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