Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers Pick & Prediction MARCH 12th 2024

It’s a fitting time for a showdown between the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes.

The top two teams in the Metropolitan Division will meet Tuesday night in Raleigh, N.C.

“There’s no question there are some (important) games coming up here,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said.

Before the showdown with the Hurricanes, the first-place Rangers beat visiting New Jersey 3-1 on Monday night, giving New York 88 points.

“Now we move on to Carolina,” Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren said. “They’re right behind us. Obviously, they’ve been playing really good hockey as of late. Every point is huge. (Tuesday) will be a big one, for sure.”

Only four points separate the teams with slightly more than a month remaining in the regular season.

The Hurricanes own a three-game winning streak, with goalie Frederik Andersen having returned to play two of those games after a four-month absence. It figures to be Pyotr Kochetkov’s turn Tuesday night.

Carolina posted a season-high goal total in a 7-2 rout of the visiting Calgary Flames on Sunday. Seven different Hurricanes players scored the goals.

“We’ve had games of 50-plus shots and still only get one goal,” Hurricanes defenseman Jalen Chatfield said. “If we keep shooting the puck, I believe good things are going to happen.”

The Hurricanes added a new twist by acquiring Evgeny Kuznetsov in a trade with the Washington Capitals late last week. He played his first Carolina home game on Sunday.

“That’s always exciting and we can’t wait to play more games (on the same team),” Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov said.

Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour believes Kuznetsov has special talent that can be a boon to the Hurricanes once he settles in.

“If it all comes together, that’s pretty good,” Brind’Amour said. “Glad he’s on our team.”

Laviolette called the Rangers’ performance on Saturday in a 4-0 victory against the St. Louis Blues perhaps the team’s top game in the past 20. The Rangers followed that with a solid outing against New Jersey.

On Monday night, Rangers center Mika Zibanejad notched his first five-on-five goal since before Christmas, giving him seven consecutive seasons of 20 or more goals.

“The last few games I think he has been really noticeable on the ice,” Laviolette said. “He’s skating with authority. He’s bringing the puck to the net frequently.”

Former Carolina forward Vincent Trocheck had an empty-net goal for New York on Monday.

The Rangers also have rookie enforcer Matt Rempe, who has played 10 games and drawn all sorts of attention in his brief career. New York is 7-2-1 in those games.

“He brings a really good positive energy,” Laviolette said. “There’s a lot of positives that he brings to the table that our bench, our players, our team, they really like having that around. It’s infectious. You can see it in the stands, really everywhere.”

Rempe was lost to a game misconduct for an elbow to the head of the Devils’ Jonas Siegenthaler late in the second period on Monday.

“I thought Rempe had a strong game up until that point,” Laviolette said.

The Rangers and Hurricanes have split two games this season, both in New York. The Rangers won 2-1 on Nov. 2 and the Hurricanes rolled 6-1 on Jan. 2.

New York has 19 road wins, tied for the second most in the Eastern Conference this season.

–Field Level Media

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