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Rangers To Take On Tired ‘Canes At MSG

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) – Fatigue from their early season travels is becoming problematic for the Carolina Hurricanes, and now they’re on the road again.

The Hurricanes will try to overcome that exhaustion when they face the New York Rangers on Friday night.

Carolina (4-4-0) turned in one of its worst performances of the young season Wednesday, falling 3-0 to Washington in its first game at RBC Center. Coach Paul Maurice felt exhaustion played a vital role in the effort, as the Hurricanes were returning from a 2-3-0 trip through Canada and the West Coast after opening the season in Europe.

“I just don’t think we could do anything with the puck very easily, but it wasn’t from a lack of effort,” Maurice told the team’s official website. “The half step that we rely on for our game wasn’t quite there. It wasn’t a willingness or a want, it was just the bodies weren’t doing what the brain wanted them to do.”

Carolina isn’t getting much relief in the near future. Its next five games include three on the road before opening a three-game homestand against Florida on Nov. 6.

The Hurricanes, however, have won their last two visits to Madison Square Garden by outscoring the Rangers 7-2. The road team won all four meetings between these clubs in 2009-10.

To extend that winning streak in New York, Carolina might need to see some improvement on the power play.

The unit ranks toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference, converting 4 of 36 chances – 1 of 22 over the last five games.

Jussi Jokinen’s production is becoming a key part of any of the Hurricanes’ success after he led them with a career-high 30 goals last season. The left wing is tied with Eric Staal with a team-high six points, but all of Jokinen’s have come in the four victories.

He didn’t muster a point in four meetings against the Rangers last season and has one goal in five games at MSG.

The Rangers are looking to capitalize on the tired Hurricanes in an effort to rebound from Wednesday’s 6-4 loss to Atlanta, ending their three-game winning streak. New York fell behind by three early in the third period.

“We lost and we deserved to lose,” coach John Tortorella said. “We shouldn’t put ourselves in that type of spot. We didn’t stay within ourselves and play the way we needed to. We shouldn’t have let it get out of hand.”

Ryan Callahan and Sean Avery are providing the offensive spark for the Rangers, who continue to be without Marian Gaborik (shoulder), Chris Drury (finger) and Vinny Prospal (knee).

Callahan has put together a four-game point streak, totaling two goals and four assists. He is tied with Brandon Dubinksy for the team lead with eight points.

Avery is widely known for his ability to agitate opponents, but he’s been a surprise offensively with a team-high six assists. The left wing added another assist Wednesday while also scoring his first goal.

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