After playing their last game on the road in Philadelphia, the Carolina Hurricanes will head home to host the New York Rangers tonight.
The Carolina Hurricanes have dropped their last two contests, both of them to divisional rivals. The Hurricanes suffered a 5-3 loss to the struggling New Jersey Devils on Saturday night. They also dropped their contest in Philadelphia 4-1 to the Flyers.
Even though the Hurricanes have lost their last two games, they sit at third place in the Metropolitan Division at 9-5-1 totaling 19 points. They sit six points behind the Washington Capitals and three points behind the New York Islanders.
Keys to the Game
In order for the Hurricanes to come out on top against the Rangers, they are going to need a better performance from their netminder.
‘Canes goalie Petr Mrazek allowed four goals on only 28 shots against the Flyers. His defense in front of him also blocked 11 shots. For the Hurricanes to succeed against this Rangers offense they are going to need Mrazek to go back to being lights out.
Fortunately for the HurricanesRangers top center, Mika Zibanejad will not be traveling with the team to Raleigh due to an upper-body injury.
After playing against Detroit last night, the Rangers are likely to start goalie Alexander Georgiev after Henrik Lundqvist played game one in their back-to-back.
The key for the Hurricanes is going to be capitalizing on special teams. Carolina has one of the best offenses in the National Hockey League featured by second-year player Andrei Svechnikov and center Sebastian Aho. Where they need to improve is their special teams, the Hurricanes sit tenth in the NHL with their special teams’ units. On the power play, they are 11-49 which equals 22% and is good for ninth in the league. Their penalty kill is just at 80% and is 17th in the league.
Puck movement is going to be a major part of the Hurricanes success tonight against a young goalie. If the Hurricanes can strike on their first powerplay and set an early tone, they will be able to fund themselves back in the win column.