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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 18th (All times Eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (15-11-1) at New York Rangers (13-12-2), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The offensively-challenged New York Rangers will try to halt a three-game losing streak when they host the Carolina Hurricanes in Monday's clash at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers are ranked 27th in the league with an average of just 2.33 goals per game and John Tortorella's club has managed only two scores during its current 0-3 slide.
After beginning a four-game road trip with a 4-1 win at Washington, the Blueshirts were dealt consecutive 3-1 setbacks in Buffalo and Winnipeg. New York fared even worse in the finale of the swing, losing a 3-0 decision Saturday in Pittsburgh.
"When you don't score, sure your confidence goes down. When you don't win, your confidence goes down," said Tortorella after Sunday's loss. "So, we just gotta work through it and just try to find our way here."
The Rangers fell to 4-7-1 on the road after the 3-0 setback in the Steel City, where Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 23 shots to notch his first shutout of the season.
Henrik Lundqvist allowed all three goals on 27 shots in the setback, New York's fourth in its last five games.
"Unfortunately we can't find our offense now," New York defenseman Dan Girardi admitted. "I don't think it's a lack of confidence, we just need to find a way. We have to just keep trying to make plays and get offensive zone pressure."
New York, which is 9-5-1 as the host this season, finds itself sitting 10th in the Eastern Conference and three points out of a playoff spot. That eighth and final postseason berth is currently being held by the Hurricanes, who will try to halt a two-game skid of their own when they face the Rangers on Monday.
Carolina has lost its last two games in regulation after going 6-1-0 in its previous seven outings. In part due to the recent two-game slide, the Hurricanes have fallen out of first place in the Southeast Division and now trail Winnipeg by one point for the top spot.
The 'Canes were last in action on Saturday when they lost a 4-1 decision at Tampa Bay. Justin Peters allowed four goals on 26 shots for Carolina, which has dropped three straight just once this season, going 0-3 from Feb. 18-23.
The Hurricanes claimed forward Adam Hall off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday and he played almost 10 minutes against his former club.
"Coming out, I was looking forward to the challenge of playing against those guys and trying to get a big win," Hall said. "It didn't work out for us."
Carolina defenseman Joe Corvo suffered a lower-body injury on Saturday and is day-to-day.
The Hurricanes, who are 8-5-1 on the road this season, have lost three straight and six of their last nine in New York City. The Rangers have won five in a row and six of the past seven overall in this series.
Monday's tilt marks the first of three scheduled meetings between the clubs this season. Carolina will host the Rangers on April 6 before the teams cap the season series on April 25 at MSG.
03/18 10:33:27 ET