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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, February 22nd (All times eastern)

New York Rangers (31-26-4) at Carolina Hurricanes (28-24-8), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of teams that have struggled in recent weeks will battle each other tonight in Raleigh, as the Carolina Hurricanes host the New York Rangers at RBC Center.

The Rangers have just two wins over their last 10 games (2-7-1), while the Hurricanes enter tonight with a 3-5-2 record in February.

Tonight's combatants are also currently holding onto the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. New York is seventh with 66 points and the 'Canes are two points back.

The Hurricanes have won two of their three games against the Rangers this year and Carolina can win the season series tonight. Carolina has taken six of nine overall from New York and the Rangers have dropped three of their last five tilts in Raleigh.

Carolina was last in action on Sunday and was handed a 4-1 setback by the visiting New Jersey Devils, who received a pair of goals from Dainius Zubrus.

Patrick Dwyer scored the lone goal and Cam Ward stopped 21 shots as Carolina lost for the fifth time in its past seven games.

"We got beat by the better team tonight," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice. "We didn't help ourselves with all the penalties we took tonight. We had a hard time moving the puck tonight."

The Hurricanes are in the midst of a four-game homestand tonight and are 15-10-2 as the host this season. They will close the residency Friday night against Pittsburgh.

Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen and forward Ryan Carter are questionable for tonight's game. Pitkanen sat out the last contest with a lower-body injury, while Carter has missed five in a row with a back problem.

The Rangers have a significant injury to deal with presently, as Marian Gaborik suffered a concussion in Sunday's loss to Philadelphia. Gaborik, who suffered the head injury in the first period of the 4-2 setback, will miss tonight's game as he is not with the team in Raleigh.

"I don't know when it happened, and I don't know how it happened," Rangers head coach John Tortorella told his club's official website about Gaborik.

Gaborik joins fellow Rangers forwards Chris Drury, Ruslan Fedotenko, Alex Frolov and Derek Boogaard, who are all currently on the shelf with injuries.

Brian Boucher made 37 saves, including 14 in the third period, to lead the Flyers to the road win at Madison Square Garden. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 20- of-23 shots for New York.

"I thought a number of players played really well, but it's about winning a hockey game and we just haven't been consistent enough here," said Tortorella. "We are going to ramp it up again [Monday] and start again."

New York has lost its last four road games, but is still 17-13-1 as the guest this season. The Rangers will cap a brief two-game swing Friday in Washington.

02/22 11:03:00 ET


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