The Rangers and Hurricanes meet for the third time this season tonight for a massive Metropolitan Division matchup! In the division standings, the Canes are currently in first place, while the Rangers are six points behind them in third with two more games played. In the season series, New York is 2-0-0 and has outscored Carolina 11-5. After tonight, they’ll see each other one last time on Thursday before a possible meeting in the playoffs.
Although it’ll be tough to catch up at this point, New York has been playing some great hockey recently and will be looking to at least put some pressure on New Jersey and Carolina down the stretch. The Rangers are 6-0-1 in their last seven games and have heavily outscored teams in these contests. As Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko settle in, the familiar faces have been doing some heavy lifting, and in the last four games, Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck have combined for 23 points. In the crease, Igor Shesterkin has won his last five starts and hasn’t let in more than three goals in any of those games.
The Hurricanes may not have the star power of New York, but they sure know how to win games. Despite not having one player over 65 points this season, it’s no fluke that this team is hunting down their second straight division title. However, with back-to-back games against a team they’ve struggled with this season, Carolina is not out of the woods just yet. They also recently lost Andrei Svechnikov for the year, which will undoubtedly create an absence in the lineup that’s going to be hard to fill. Since the top seed will get a wild card opponent and the second seed will most likely play the Rangers, Carolina’s path to the Stanley Cup will be significantly more difficult if the New Jersey Devils end up passing them late in the season. Currently, the ‘Canes are one point ahead with two games in hand.
Rangers and Hurricanes – The Pick
Tonight’s tilt at MSG should be a great one. The sportsbooks have this game basically at a pick’em, so we’ll take the hot hand tonight and go with the Rangers. Expect a fast, physical game between two rivals looking to make a statement as they gear up for their playoff runs.
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