New York Rangers
Division: eastern metropolitan
Team Record: 45 - 31
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Rangers, Hurricanes hoping for strong finishes
| 3 months ago

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Two teams that are not in line to make the playoffs will see if they can gain some good vibes nonetheless with the end of the regular season just about a week away.

The New York Rangers visit the Carolina Hurricanes for Saturday night's game at PNC Arena.

These teams were contending for a playoff spot, but they have mostly fallen by the wayside.

Now it's a matter of trying to put on strong performances the rest of the way.

"We want to play the right way," Carolina coach Bill Peters said.

The teams are in similar spots in the Eastern Conference standings below the wild-card playoff line.

The Hurricanes avoided official elimination with Friday night's 4-1 victory at Washington, but their situation had become dire during the past couple of weeks.

The Hurricanes must win their remaining games along with the New Jersey Devils losing in regulation for the rest of the regular season to make the postseason.

Carolina has four games remaining, though Saturday night's game marks the second-to-last home game.

"We're not going to go out there and just throw our sticks on the ice," Hurricanes goaltender Scott Darling said. "We want to finish strong.?

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault also said it's an important time to conclude the schedule the right way.

"We've talked to our group about being professionals," Vigneault said. "Having them to understand to come in every day whether it's a practice or a game and give your best. (I've) given them very precise instructions on what we want them to do and how they can get better."

The Rangers are 1-4-2 in their last seven games after allowing five goals in the third period of a 7-3 loss to Tampa Bay in its final home game.

Vigneault said he's impressed with the positive reinforcements that have been provided from veterans such as defenseman Marc Staal and right winger Mats Zuccarello

"I'm very proud of how those two have conducted themselves," Vigneault, noting the positive examples that have been on display."

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