The Carolina Hurricanes are getting set to enter Madison Square Garden as they face the New York Rangers. The puck is set to drop at 7:00pm ET, after the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award winner is announced.
The Hurricanes are no longer in contention for the post season with a 34-33-11 record for a total of 79 points. They are seventh in the Metropolitan Division despite a strong start at the beginning of April. They were a long shot, but with unexpected wins it seemed possible. They had a rough schedule at the end of March which seemed to seal their fate. With three of the four Staal brothers on the ice, this game will certainly be a good one to watch, there’s a lot of sibling rivalry to see. Cam Ward gets the nod tonight. he has a 9-11-6 record without any shut outs. He has a .896 save percentage and a 3.11 goals against average. Eric Staal leads his team as the captain, and on the stats sheet, with 19 goals for 58 points. He also registered two goals in his last three games. Jeff Skinner leads the team with 31 goals for 52 points. Skinner also has eight points in his last eight games, including five goals. Alexander Semin has 22 goals for 42 points while Jordan Staal has 15 goals for 39 points.
Jiri Tlusty could be ready to return to the line-up tonight after dealing with a recurring upper body injury. Drayson Bowman is also ready to return from his illness. Neither is confirmed as part of the line-up though both skated with the team in practice yesterday. Andrej Sekera is out, for the Hurricanes, with a lower body injury.
The Hurricanes are a very physical team, especially the Staal brothers. They are not overly prone to giving up a man advantage to their competitors, though Eric Staal leads his team with 74 penalties in minutes. Cam Ward has had success against the Rangers this year with a win and he is 10-11-3 in his career against the Rangers. Expect a tight game with plenty of sibling rivalry, though if the Hurricanes drop behind early they tend to fade quickly.