The Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers may not make the playoffs this season, but they both appear eager to make it as difficult as possible for anyone else to reach the postseason.
A pair of teams looking to do more than play spoiler will face off Friday night when the New York Rangers host the Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden.
Both squads are coming off stirring victories.
The Rangers were off Thursday after coming back from a two-goal, third-period deficit to edge the visiting Boston Bruins 4-3 in a seven-round shootout Wednesday.
The Hurricanes will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set after earning a 6-5 overtime victory Thursday night against the host Buffalo Sabres.
The win over Boston snapped a two-game losing streak for the Rangers, who enter play Friday in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, nine points out of a wild-card spot. Despite the long odds, and with the looming trade deadline on Feb. 25 serving as a chance for upper management to continue its rebuilding project, New York remains focused on competing for a postseason berth.
"We are not willing to write off the year," Rangers center Mika Zibanejad told reporters following the Wednesday game. "We want to prove people wrong. We want to get better. And as a group, we are still playing for a spot in the playoffs. It would be weird not to." >> Read more
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