Carolina makes their first visit to Madison Square Garden since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. A lot has transpired between these two teams since the last time the Hurricanes visited the Big Apple, including a play-in series in Toronto in which the Hurricanes swept the Rangers. However, there’s something about playing the New York Rangers in New York that gives the Hurricanes a problem.
Since the start of the 2012-13 season, the Hurricanes have beaten the Rangers once at MSG. This means that the Hurricanes’ three wins over the Rangers in Toronto are more than the number of wins they have at Madison Square Garden in the last decade. This somewhat depressing fact is due to the Canes enduring 6 years of that stretch with no playoffs and being a bad team, one season cut short, and another they didn’t meet the Rangers.
In the 2018-19 season, the Hurricanes did get one 3-0 victory at Madison Square Garden and that was very much the only time they’ve done it in a while. With their lead at the top of the division now just two points, a win tonight would be massive for the Hurricanes if they want to go into the playoffs as the winner of the Metropolitan Division. If they want to win the Metro, this might be a must-win game.
Six former Rangers on the Hurricanes will be returning to MSG. Expect Jesper Fast, Brady Skjei, and Brendan Smith to get some form of video recognition. They will all be returning to the Garden for the first time since their years of service for the Blueshirts game to an end. Carolina’s former New Yorkers will need to help the team find a way to win in a building that has tormented them for many years. A win tonight is everything the Canes need.