New York Rangers first game of 2024 is a home test against the Carolina Hurricanes

Nov 2, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Jesperi Kotkaniemi (82) and New
Nov 2, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Jesperi Kotkaniemi (82) and New / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

It's a new year for the New York Rangers. 2023 saw some disappointment in the playoffs, but the end of the year was incredible, and now the Blueshirts find themselves sitting at the top of the Metropolitan Division standings, and are competing for the first overall position in the general standings. This has been an incredible first season for Peter Laviolette as coach of the Rangers squad.

Tonight, the Blueshirts will try to contain the Carolina Hurricanes, and that means shutting down the blisteringly hot Sebastian Aho. With 11 points in his last three games (that is not a typo), Aho is the hottest player in the league. Back to back four point games, followed by a three point night saw the centerman sky rocket up the point production standings in the NHL. If the Rangers are going to hold this good team off tonight, they will need to shut down the angry Finn. The last time these two teams met, Aho collided with Adam Fox, knocking him out for ten games.

This is a Hurricanes team that likes to play basic hockey. Bodies in front and point shots aiming for tips and deflections. With the Hurricanes being quite basic in their approach, the Rangers need to know when to not be cute and just make the simple play. This Hurricanes squad has a shambolic record at Madison Square Garden since 2011, winning only three games in the last 13 years.

Former New York Rangers Brady Skjei, Tony DeAngelo, Brendan Lemieux and Antti Raanta will return to Madison Square Garden. Jesper Fast is also on this Hurricanes roster, but he will not be in this game after he took a hit to the upper body in the Canes last game. He collided with Filip Chytil in the previous meeting, and that is where the injury that has kept Chytil out since occured. On the flip side, Vincent Trocheck will be playing against his old team.

Projected Lineups

Carolina Hurricanes

Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Stefan Noesen - Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Martin Necas
Jordan Martinook - Jordan Staal - Seth Jarvis
Michael Bunting - Jack Drury - Brendan Lemieux
Jaccob Slavin - Brent Burns
Brady Skjei - Brett Pesce
Dmitry Orlov - Jalen Chatfield
Pyotr Kochetkov
Antti Raanta

New York Rangers

Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Blake Wheeler
Artemi Panarin - Vincent Trocheck - Alexis Lafreniere
Will Cuylle - Nick Bonino - Jonny Brodzinski
Jimmy Vesey - Barclay Goodrow - Tyler Pitlick
Ryan Lindgren - Adam Fox
K'Andre Miller - Jacob Trouba
Erik Gustafsson - Braden Schneider
Igor Shetserkin
Jonathan Quick

Puck Drop

Madison Square Garden will be the venue for a 7 p.m puck drop as the Rangers look to start the new year off well with two points. It'll be a very difficult game against the team that has won the Metropolitan Division in each of the last two years. This is a very strong Hurricanes team, and they will be dangerous. New York will not be able to sleep through it has they have some games this season.