2024 Playoffs: Second Round, Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Rangers Game 2 Open Thread

After surviving a late game surge from Carolina to take a 1-0 series lead, the Rangers are back in action for Game 2 of the Metropolitan Division finals. Special teams were the story of the opening game of the series, as both the Rangers and Hurricanes were among the best power play and penalty killing teams during the regular season, but it was New York's special teams making special plays to lead the way to victory. A pair of power play goals and a flawless 5/5 effort on the penalty kill helped the Blueshirts take the early series lead, and Peter Laviolette's squad will be looking for more of that effort when they take the ice tonight.

No lineup changes are expected out of either team. Blake Wheeler was spotted at Monday's practice in a non-contact jersey, but the veteran forward is reportedly still not close to being ready for game action. No further updates concerning Filip Chytil have been given, so Matt Rempe will get another chance to skate single digit minutes and hopefully not do anything too stupid.

Speaking of doing stupid things, Tony DeAngelo could be playing his final game of the series tonight for Carolina. The former Ranger is skating in place of Brett Pesce, who did not make the trip to New York for Games 1 and 2, and DeAngelo didn't do anything of note in Game 1 besides elbow Will Cuylle in the face and sit in the penalty box for 30 seconds before watching the Rangers score. He won't be on the ice much, but the Blueshirts must target him and his defensive deficiencies when he is.

Player to Watch: Mika Zibanejad

Zibanejad got the scoring started for New York on Sunday, and had a monstrous game overall. New York's top center recorded two goals and an assist in the first period as the Rangers went up 3-1, and skated his usual penalty kill and late game shifts as the team held on for dear life en route to winning Game 1. After a poor (by Zibanejad's lofty standards) regular season showing, there's a case to be made that Zibanejad has been the Blueshirts' best player through five postseason games. Keep an eye on him tonight as the Rangers look to make it six in a row to being their 2024 playoff run.

Enjoy the game!