by Patrick Hoffman on 04/07/11 at 10:36 AM ET
The Carolina Hurricanes continue to put pressure on the New York Rangers for one of the final playoff spots in the tight Eastern Conference as they shutout the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 3-0.
With the win, the Hurricanes have pulled to within two points of the Blueshirts. The Rangers will have a chance to increase that lead to four points tonight when they take on the Atlanta Thrashers.
The Rangers are coming off an extremely emotional win over the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden on Monday night. The team fought from three goals back to win the game 5-3. Unfortunately, they lost Ryan Callahn, the heart and soul of the team, to a broken ankle in the process.
Tonight, the Rangers will need to do everything they can to increase their two point lead because if they are not able to come away with a win, the pressure will certainly be on them in their last game of the regular season on Saturday afternoon against the New Jersey Devils at MSG. As a team, I am sure that they do not want it to come down to this situation because they realize what it did to them last year.
With that said, the Rangers have played some solid hockey in their last two games in beating two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Bruins. They have not quit, got timely goal scoring, blocked a ton of shots and of course, got terrific goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist.
The team will have to do that tonight without Callahan and while it will be difficult, this team has shown time and time again that they can overcome injuries to play a winning brand of hockey. Do that tonight against the Thrashers and they will be one step closer to returning to the postseason.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.