‘Canes Come To Town To Face Blueshirts
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(AP) – The Carolina Hurricanes’ surge was slowed somewhat with an overtime loss their last time out. They’ll look to get back on track in a matchup with the New York Rangers, whom they’ve defeated three straight times.
All three wins came at Madison Square Garden, which Carolina visits for the second time this season Wednesday night as it tries to deal New York a third consecutive defeat overall.
The Hurricanes (18-15-5) erased a two-goal third-period deficit against Florida on Monday, but they were denied a fourth straight win with a 4-3 overtime defeat.
Carolina outshot the Panthers 37-28, including 16-6 in the third, but failed to match its longest winning streak of the season.
“Hopefully we can take the positives from it and keep a good feeling in the room and not focus on the negatives and go the other way,” said forward Erik Cole, who had two assists.
Zach Boychuk and Jay Harrison scored in the third to pull Carolina even, but the Hurricanes fell to 13-1-3 when scoring first.
“I liked the way we fought back in the game,” coach Paul Maurice said.
Maurice’s team is 7-3-1 in its last 11 and has won five of six on the road.
The Hurricanes have won in New York in their last three meetings with the Rangers, winning the most recent one 4-3 on Oct. 29. Carolina can match a franchise record with a fourth straight road victory in the series – a mark established by the Hartford Whalers from Feb. 21, 1985-March 18, 1987.
The Rangers, though, have won three of four at home and defeated the Islanders 7-2 in their last game at MSG on Dec. 27 – the second time in those four games they reached the seven-goal mark.
Things didn’t go nearly as well on a just-completed three-game road trip. New York (22-15-3) knocked off New Jersey 3-1 last Wednesday, but fell 2-1 to Florida on Saturday and 3-0 to Tampa Bay on Sunday.
“We had some good chances. We couldn’t score,” coach John Tortorella said.
New York lost left wing Ruslan Fedotenko to what Tortorella called a “deep bruise” when he blocked a shot with his hand in the first period. The coach said Fedotenko, who left the game and did not return, is day to day.
Carolina’s Cam Ward has allowed at least three goals in five of his last six games. Ward, though, was in goal for each of the three consecutive wins over the Rangers and has a 2.12 goals-against average in 17 games against them.
Henrik Lundqvist is likely to return to the net for the Rangers after Martin Biron made his first start since Dec. 16 on Sunday. Lundqvist, though, struggled in the last two games versus Carolina, giving up nine goals.
New York winger Marian Gaborik, who has struggled to find consistency this season, has seven goals and seven assists in 14 career games against the Hurricanes.
Updated January 4, 2011
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