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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, December 13th (All times eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (13-12-4) at New York Rangers (19-11-2), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Fresh off a monumental collapse the Carolina Hurricanes will try to rebound with a strong effort when they visit the New York Rangers for this evening's encounter at Madison Square Garden.

The Hurricanes were playing in Philadelphia on Thursday and had built a four- goal cushion after two periods only to surrender four unanswered goals in the third en route to a shootout loss.

Scott Hartnell notched his fourth career hat trick and Simon Gagne scored the deciding goal in the shootout to lift the Flyers to the 6-5 decision at the Wachovia Center.

It was the fourth time the Hurricanes and Flyers faced off against each other in the span of 16 days. Philadelphia wound up winning the season series (3-0-1).

Carolina led 2-0 early in the second period and would hold a 5-1 advantage at the end of 40 minutes of play.

Eric Staal registered two goals and an assist for the Hurricanes, who have dropped four of their last five games. Ruutu finished with three helpers, while Michael Leighton surrendered five goals on 37 shots.

The loss also dropped Carolina to 6-4-3 as the visiting team this season. The Hurricanes, who have lost four of five on the road, will return home to play their next two games, beginning with Tuesday's tilt against Montreal.

The Rangers have also struggled recently, losing three of their last four games. The most recent setback came Friday evening in New Jersey, as the Devils notched an 8-5 victory despite blowing a four-goal lead.

Brian Gionta registered a goal and three assists, leading New Jersey to the win at the Prudential Center. The Devils led the game 5-1 only to see the rival Rangers score four straight goals to tie it with 8:42 left in the third. However, Jersey scored the game's final three goals to secure the victory.

Nikolai Zherdev posted a goal and three helpers to pace New York, which has dropped four of its last six tests. Scott Gomez had a goal and two assists, while Henrik Lundqvist was victimized eight times on 34 shots.

The Rangers are still leading the Atlantic Division with 40 points, but Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are now just four points behind.

New York is 11-6-1 as the host this year, but has dropped two of its last three games on home ice.

This is the first of four meetings between the Rangers and Hurricanes this season. The Blueshirts have taken two of three and five of the last seven encounters and Carolina has been defeated in three of its previous four stops in the Big Apple.

12/13 10:54:07 ET

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