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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, April 8th (All times Eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (34-33-11) at New York Rangers (43-31-5), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers didn't have to break a sweat to clinch a postseason berth Monday night, but the playoff-bound club will try to halt a two-game slide when it hosts the Carolina Hurricanes in Tuesday's clash at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers officially earned a spot in the 2014 playoffs thanks to New Jersey's regulation loss to Calgary on Monday night. New York could have locked up a postseason berth on its own by gaining a single point on Saturday, but dropped a 3-2 regulation decision against the visiting Ottawa Senators.

With 91 points through 79 games, the Rangers are currently second in the Metropolitan Division and two points ahead of the third-place Philadelphia Flyers.

The Rangers should feel good about facing tonight's opponent, as New York had won 10 straight in this series before the Hurricanes recorded a 3-1 home win on March 11. That was the first victory for Carolina in this matchup since another home win on Jan. 20, 2011.

New York still carries a five-game home winning streak against the Hurricanes.

After losing Thursday's 3-2 shootout decision to Colorado at the end of a four-game road trip, the Rangers returned home to lose to Ottawa in regulation. Senators goaltender Robin Lehner stopped 41 shots, including 13 in the third period, to frustrate New York in the 3-2 setback at MSG.

Mats Zuccarello netted both goals for the Rangers, while Henrik Lundqvist came up with 31 saves in the loss.

"It's obviously very disappointing," Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi said in reference to his club failing to lock up a postseason berth. "We are still in a good spot here. It's in our hands to get that win in our next game at home and hopefully secure home ice in the first round."

New York is playing the second test of a three-game homestand, which will end Thursday against Buffalo before the Blueshirts cap their regular season Saturday in Montreal. The Rangers are 18-17-4 as the host compared to an impressive 25-14-1 road record.

Sitting eight points out of a playoff spot with four games left, Carolina is on the brink of being officially eliminated from the playoffs. When the inevitable happens it will mark the Hurricanes' fifth consecutive year out of the postseason.

Carolina had won consecutive games and earned a point in five straight (3-0-2) before losing Saturday against visiting New Jersey, 3-1. Dainius Zubrus scored twice and Cory Schneider stopped 26 shots, as the Devils stayed relevant in the Eastern Conference playoff race while pushing the Hurricanes closer to the edge of elimination.

Jeff Skinner supplied Carolina's lone goal, while Anton Khudobin allowed two goals on 22 shots for the Hurricanes. Skinner's goal was his 31st of the season, matching the career-best total he set as a rookie in 2010-11.

"I don't think we had our legs," Skinner admitted. "We couldn't really generate much, but I think that's just sort of ... we just need to work a little harder."

The Hurricanes will play three of their last four regular-season games on the road, where the club is 16-17-5 this season. Carolina will host Washington on Thursday before ending the campaign with stops in Detroit and Philadelphia this weekend.

04/08 10:51:58 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
 
1st
NCSU 16
BSU 11
 
1st
PIT 0
CAR 1
 
2nd
CHA 24
GSW 28
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
BOS 102
CHI 109
2nd
CHA 24
GSW 28
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
DAL
7:30pm Tonight
DET
MIL
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
NOP
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
LAC
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
NYK
8:00pm Tonight
IND
ORL
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
PHO
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIN
Final
WMICH 21
NILL 31
Final
SMU 9
HOU 35
Final
IOWA 34
NEB 37
Final
SFLA 0
UCF 16
Final
MARS 66
WKENT 67
Final
KSU 27
AKR 24
Final
BGU 24
BST 41
Final
UMASS 21
BUF 41
Final
EMICH 16
TOL 52
Final
MIZZ 21
ARK 14
Final
SALABAMA 40
NAVY 42
 
Final
ARZ 42
ARST 35
Final
AFA 27
COLST 24
 
Final
UCLA 10
STAN 31
8:00pm Tonight
VT
UVA
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
 
Final
KU 82
TENN 67
Final
TEXAM 87
NO 65
 
Final
NCAT 57
RAD 65
 
Final
GEOR 58
BUT 64
Final
BRO 81
PVU 71
Final
RIU 66
SCU 44
Final
NARZ 70
SOUTH 63
Final
DART 68
MAST 67
Final
WRST 59
FIU 61
Final
XAV 73
UTEP 77
Final
OSU 73
JMU 56
Final
TXSOU 71
LAM 59
 
Final
TAMCC 75
MVSU 66
 
Final
AKAN 51
MIZST 55
Final
BUCK 80
PSU 88
 
Final
PROV 72
YALE 66
Final
UGA 62
MINN 66
 
Final
WISC 69
OKLA 56
Final
Terriers 70
NORST 72
 
Final
PEAY 62
STEPH 83
 
2nd
FSU 36
CSOU 31
 
2nd
VALPO 55
DRAK 33
 
2nd
CIN 59
MTST 39
 
2nd
SDU 60
PRIN 51
 
2nd
WASU 53
RICE 44
 
2nd
CSFU 38
USCU 47
 
Half
GT 30
RIDE 30
 
1st
TXPA 28
ALAST 39
 
1st
NCSU 16
BSU 11
 
1st
TCU 14
BRAD 9
 
1st
WAKE 30
DELST 27
 
1st
HART 24
EMERSON 19
 
1st
STJ 20
GONZ 21
 
1st
CLEM 21
HIGH 13
 
1st
SYR 20
HC 9
 
1st
MD 26
MON 14
 
1st
JVST 24
SAV 25
 
1st
MIAMI 34
SALA 11
 
1st
RUTG 29
VANDY 18
 
7:30pm Tonight
PETE
TENST
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
CLST
8:00pm Tonight
JST
HOF
 
8:00pm Tonight
INDST
MEM
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
SAMF
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
SELA
 
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
TENNM
8:30pm Tonight
MISS
CREI
8:30pm Tonight
PORT
MURST
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
MSU
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
UNT
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
STET
 
9:00pm Tonight
IND
UNCG
9:00pm Tonight
SJST
WMICH
9:05pm Tonight
MNTST
TXARL
9:30pm Tonight
UVA
LAS
9:30pm Tonight
STLU
MSST
9:30pm Tonight
COLST
PAC
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
NDAK
10:30pm Tonight
ILL
BAY
10:30pm Tonight
UAB
UCLA
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
MERC
Final
PHI 0
NYR 3
Final
ANA 1
CHI 4
Final
WAS 5
NYI 2
 
1st
PIT 0
CAR 1
 
1st
NJD 1
DET 1
 
1st
BUF 1
MON 0
 
1st
CLB 0
VAN 0
 
1st
BOS 0
WIN 0
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
OTT
8:00pm Tonight
STL
EDM
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MIN