The New York Rangers are 0-2-1 in their last three games and need to get two points off of their (new) division rival tonight. The Carolina Hurricanes are seven points behind the Rangers in the Metropolitan Division and are one of the teams that the Rangers are in direct competition with to get into the 2014 NHL Playoffs.
The Hurricanes have had a disappointing season spoiled by injuries and under-performing stars but they are not yet out of the playoff hunt. They shipped Tuomo Ruutu to the New Jersey Devils for Andrei Loktionov and a conditional 2017 3rd round pick but that did not make them "sellers" on deadline day. The Hurricanes became younger and faster on deadline day but the riddle of who their starting goaltender will be for the foreseeable future is still not solved.
For the Rangers the only thing that matters tonight is to get two points against the Carolina Hurricanes and get back to winning with only 19 games left in the 2013-14 season.
Mike's Player to Watch:
The acquisition of Martin St. Louis should mean that Rick Nash and his linemates should be going up against weaker competition. In Nash's last nine games he has just two points and if the Rangers have designs on getting into the playoffs they need Rick Nash to start playing like Rick Nash and it has to start happening soon. Keep an eye out for how Alain Vigneault uses Nash, especially on the man advantage. Here's hoping that we see the Rick Nash we saw from January 18th to January 26th, the Rick Nash who scored 7 goals in 5 games.