Carolina Hurricanes (5-7-3) at New York Rangers (8-3-3)
Madison Square Garden, 7 p.m.
TV: FS-Carolinas, MSG
With the losing streak now at three games and the Canes near the bottom of the conference, you would believe that things are all gloom and doom in Carolina right now. It doesn't help that tonight they are going up against the surging New York Rangers who have won five in a row. I, however, am optimistic about tonight's game because the Canes had a relatively strong game against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday and are finally starting to let some of their young talent play. All season long I have been waiting for guys like Zach Boychuk and Zac Dalpe to get a shot in the top-six and one of them finally has. That one was Zach Boychuk (Dalpe is a healthy scratch, unfortunately) as he had one of his strongest games as an NHL-er last Tuesday when he played on the second line with Tuomo Ruutu and Alexei Ponikarovsky. Maurice has rewarded his good play with a promotion to the top line and now we finally get our chance to see if Boychuk can work with this year's Eric Staal, who really needs to get the wheels turning at even strength. Oh, and that Jussi Jokinen guy who was the team's best forward in the first month is returning after many thought he would be done for at least a month.
Optimism all around for me.
Lines and analysis after the jump