Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers Free NHL Pick

Friday, February 8 at 8:00 PM ET

Madison Square Garden

Coverage: NHL Network

By Jackalyn Harley

Follow @jackalynharley

The Carolina Hurricanes meet the New York Rangers Friday evening. The division rivals face-off for the second time this season, with the Hurricanes coming out victorious in the first tilt.

The Hurricanes are riding in on no rest, wrapping up back to back games. They seem to have found their legs, winning 11 of their last 16 games. Sebastian Aho leads the team in goals and points, with 24 goals and 62 points. He's tallied the board in four of the last five games.

The Canes have been thriving since the acquisition of Nino Niederreiter, who netted seven points in his eight games with the team. Michael Ferland has been the subject of trade rumors lately, but Carolina has seemingly pumped the breaks on trade talks with the thought to utilize him to make a playoff push.

The Hurricanes power play sits at 26th in the league at 16.2% and 16th in penalty kill at 80.0%. Petr Mrazek is expected to be between the pipes for the Canes tonight. He owns a 2.82 GAA and a .894 save percentage this season.

On the flip side, the Rangers are struggling a bit this season. It hasn't been the best year for the team, but they're still in reach of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. After two tough losses in a row, the Rangers tackled the Boston Bruins in a 4-3 shootout win on home ice. That win might boost their confidence coming into this contest.

The Rangers have bested the Canes in 25 of the last 30 matchups. Mats Zuccarello has had a successful round of games lately, posting eight points in his last five appearances. The team's power play is running at 21.1% and the penalty kill unit is at 76.7%. Netminder Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start tonight, boasting a 3.04 GAA and .906 save percentage on the year.

NHL Pick: Rangers -105 at Jazz Sports

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