New York Rangers Game Thread: Rangers Vs. Hurricanes
Storm's a comin'..
The New York Rangers have already clinched a playoff berth for the 2014 NHL Playoffs and they are now playing for home ice advantage and trying to avoid slipping into one of the wild card spots so they might avoid playing Boston or Pittsburgh in the first round.
The Hurricanes are 5-3-2 in their last ten and are currently 7 points out of a Wild Card spot with 4 games left (including tonight's game against the Rangers) in the regular season. In other words, they will not be making the playoffs. The Rangers head into tonight's game looking to bounce back after losing to another team out of the playoff picture, the Senators, and grab two points against a team that they should beat. The season series is currently knotted up at 2-2 so tonight will decide which team wins the first regular season series between these two new Metropolitan Division rivals.
Tonight the Rangers will see Cam Ward between the pipes. This very well could be the last time Rangers see the Blueshirts play the Hurricanes with Ward in the net for the 'Canes. In recent history the Hurricanes have had a lot of success playing the role of spoiler around this time of year, here's hoping that the Rangers are up to the task tonight and leave with some points. The Rangers can't afford to underestimate the Hurricanes and they have to make sure to challenge Ward tonight because he's had a miserable year and an early goal would go a long way in beating the 'Canes.
Mike's Player to Watch: Martin St. Louis
No Ranger has played more games against the Hurricanes than Marty St. Louis has. The Rangers need their newest star to start shining a little bit brighter as the club reaches the playoffs and sooner or later it has to be Marty's night. Whether it's another goal or a multi-point game, Rangers fans are desperate to see Martin St. Louis start to look like he was worth what the club gave up for him on deadline day. Look for Marty to be a factor in tonight's game. I'm pretty sure putting him on Richards' line is more or less toxic for him (and anyone else) but St. Louis is simply too good to stay in this scoring slump for much longer, here's hoping that he breaks out of it tonight.
Let's Go Rangers!