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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, January 20th (All times eastern)

New York Rangers (27-18-3) at Carolina Hurricanes (22-18-6), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Marian Gaborik and the New York Rangers will try to build off an impressive offensive performance when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at RBC Center.

Gaborik came to life with four goals in Wednesday's 7-0 thrashing of the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. The Slovakian had been mired in an eight-game goal drought and had just 11 goals in 33 games. However, he scored twice in the first period and twice in the second to notch his third hat trick of the season and 13th of his career.

"It feels good, especially after you get the first one," said Gaborik. "It was a big relief to get the monkey off my back and it kept rolling. We talked about getting off to a good start and we did."

Artem Anisimov dished out four assists while Ruslan Fedotenko, Mats Zuccarello and Brian Boyle each had a goal for the Rangers, who had dropped three of four coming into Wednesday's tilt. Sean Avery had three helpers in the win.

Henrik Lundqvist had to stop 22 shots for his seventh shutout of the season. He is tied with Boston's Tim Thomas for the league lead in white-washings.

"Once we scored our first two goals we took over the game completely," said Lundqvist. "We did a good job. Our penalty kills were really good. It was a great win and a great way to bounce back from two tough losses."

Before the game, the Rangers found out that forward and leading scorer Brandon Dubinsky has a stress fracture in his left fibula and is expected to be out three to four weeks. His injury was discovered during an MRI and bone scan earlier in the day.

Dubinsky, 24, leads the Rangers in goals (17), assists (21) and is third in penalty minutes (60). He is just the latest forward to land on the shelf for New York, which is also currently without Alex Frolov, Vinny Prospal, Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen and Derek Boogaard.

New York has a solid 15-8-1 record as the guest this season and is kicking off a three-game road trip tonight. The Blueshirts will also visit Atlanta and Washington on the swing.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, will try to get back on track tonight after losing three of their last four games. Carolina was swept earlier this week in a home-and-home series with Boston, which notched a 7-0 victory in Beantown on Monday and followed with a 3-2 victory at Carolina the following night.

Carolina fired 45 shots at Boston netminder Tim Thomas on Tuesday, but the former Vezina Trophy winner made 43 saves to lead the Bruins to the close regulation win at RBC Center.

Jussi Jokinen and Chad LaRose scored for the Hurricanes, while Cam Ward allowed three goals on 28 shots for the loss.

The Hurricanes had won three straight on home ice prior to Tuesday's loss and are 11-8-2 in Raleigh this season.

Carolina and the Rangers have split a pair of meetings this year, but tonight's tilt will mark the first matchup in Raleigh. The Hurricanes have taken five of eight overall in the series. New York has won its last two road games against Carolina, but has also lost eight out of 12 at RBC Center.

01/20 11:05:42 ET


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