With the New York Rangers taking game three at Madison Square Garden 3-1, the Carolina hurricanes will get a chance to avenge their loss tonight as they will go at it again in the City that never sleeps. Carolina is still seeking its first win away from PNC Arena in this postseason and they could push the Rangers to the brink of elimination with a win tonight in their house of horrors.
Carolina historically has a shoddy record at MSG and has beaten the Rangers at MSG as many times in the last 13 years as they have in Toronto during the bubble. This is a game where the Hurricanes would like to win if they are serious about getting into the Eastern Conference Finals to play the Tampa Bay Lightning who are lying in wait, but they don’t need to. Defending home ice made this a pressure-free trip to New York.
If the Hurricanes are going to win tonight, they need to do a couple of things.
Get the puck into the goal. It sounds so simple, but they’ve only done it four times this series and that’s not good enough. Now, they need to get shots on goal and get bodies to the front of the net. Deflections and screens against a goalie of this caliber are your friends. He can’t stop it if it changes direction and he can’t stop it if he can’t see it. Take away his eyes and change the direction of the puck.
Penalties have killed this team so far this postseason. It has become clear that the penalty kill that was so special during the regular season just doesn’t have the same execution in the postseason. That’s fine, so Carolina needs to avoid the box as much as they can. Killing penalties off well is one thing, but it is better to not have to kill penalties in the first place. Stay out of the box and play five on five.