Watch the New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday, March 20 in this Metropolitan Division battle. Here is a preview of the game.
Their Last Head-to-head Matchup
The last game between the Rangers and the Hurricanes was January 21st when the Rangers lost 6-3. Former Ranger Tony DeAngelo scored a PP goal and got two assists against the Rangers. Although the Rangers’ normal powerhouses such as Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider and Adam Fox, helped with the offense, they still lost. The Hurricanes dominated in shots on goal at 35-23 and went 2/2 on their PP. The Rangers went 2/3, but it wasn’t enough.
The Rangers are currently third in the Metro. Ahead of them are the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Hurricanes lead the Metro and are looking to add to their lead.
The Rangers need to watch out for the Washington Capitals who are right on their tails. The Rangers need to do a better job at winning because making the playoffs is one thing. Positioning is another, where the Rangers would want to secure at least second in the Metro, giving them home-ice advantage for their playoff series, facing the third ranked team in the Metro.
With the way the Hurricanes are playing, no team will catch them. However, they are only 5-3-2 in their last 10 and the way the Capitals and Penguins have been inching up on everyone, there is a good chance that they may end up in a battle for first place. One must remember though that this is hockey and with any sport, anything is possible. Sports are unpredictable that way.
What to Look for
This game holds some interest in the stats world. The Rangers are second in PP percentage, while the Hurricanes are seventh. Hurricanes are first in the league in the penalty kill at a whopping 89.1 percent. The Rangers are ninth at 82.2 percent.
As far as goals scored, the Hurricanes are ninth with 3.31, while the Rangers are 18th. Hurricanes are first in goals against at 2.38 and the Rangers are in third at 2.57.
The players to look out for an the Rangers are Panarin who has 10 points in his last five games, nine of them assists. Zibanejad has three goals in his last five games as well. Can’t leave out Kreider, who is always a factor offensively. He is second in goals with 40 and leads the league in PPG at 21.
On the Hurricanes, Vincent Trocheck has four points in his last five games. Sebastian Aho has three goals and Andrei Svechnikov has three assists in their last five games.
If both teams’ starting goalies take the ice, it will be some matchup. Igor Shesterkin is 29-8-3 with a 2.07 goals against average (GAA) and a .938 save percentage. Frederik Andersen has a 30-9-2 record, a 2.08 GAA and a .928 save percentage. If both goalies play to their potential and face a lot of shots, it will be a battle of the goalies. Very exciting!
Who Will win?
The Hurricanes are looking good in the Metro. For now. The Penguins, Rangers and Capitals are all looking feeling like they belong on top. Honestly, it really could be any of these teams. First place is up for grabs.
One of the remaining questions is who wants it bad enough? The Hurricanes need to just keep doing what they are doing and they will be fine. The Penguins worked their way as one of the best teams in the division and have to keep at it. They are currently five points down from the ‘Canes.
The Rangers are seven points back and just have to try to win more close battles. Their loss to the Islanders on Thursday night was brutal. It was amazing playoff-style hockey, but neither they offense or Shesterkin’s awesome goaltending was enough to pull out a win.
The Capitals are on a winning streak and will need a lot more of this to take over first place.
So, who wants it bad enough? Well, the Rangers are in a very vulnerable position only up by three points on the Capitals. They are also one win away from taking over second. They are skating on thin ice, pun intended. Staying out of the penalty box by avoiding dumb penalties and scoring on their PP will help bring in some more wins. They also need to be more careful in their game play and make things happen in their offensive zone.
Who will win this matchup between the Rangers and the Hurricanes? Watch the game on Sunday, March 20th at 6 p.m. ET.
Featured Image Courtesy of Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images
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