|Date of game: 3/7/2014
New York Rangers (33-26-4) at Carolina Hurricanes (27-26-9), 7 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers will try to halt a three-game slide and earn their first victory since acquiring Martin St. Louis when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes for Friday's clash at PNC Arena.
The Rangers landed St. Louis hours before Wednesday's trade deadline and the former Tampa Bay Lightning captain was able to join New York for its home game against Toronto later that evening. However, the club's new acquisition failed to pick up a point in his Rangers debut as the Blueshirts fell 3-2 in overtime against the Maple Leafs.
St. Louis was picked up from the Lightning in exchange for Rangers captain Ryan Callahan, a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a conditional second-round choice in 2014.
The 38-year-old St. Louis joined the Lightning as a free agent in July 2000 after spending his first two seasons in Calgary. He helped Tampa Bay to its lone Stanley Cup title in the spring of 2004, when he was also the Hart Trophy winner as the league MVP. The trade reunited him with former Lightning teammate Brad Richards in New York.
"It was a tough day for my family, but we are all excited to be here," St. Louis said of being traded to New York. "This is an opportunity for me to play with a big market team, and it's going to be a challenge obviously."
New York is 0-2-1 so far in March, but the club is still holding on to the third of the Metropolitan Division's three automatic bids to the playoffs. The Rangers are one point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets for that distinction.
The Rangers overcame a 2-0 deficit in the third period to force overtime against the Leafs, but Tyler Bozak won the game for Toronto in the extra session.
Bozak, who opened the scoring with a successful penalty shot in the second, accepted a blind backhand feed from Phil Kessel behind the net and elevated the disc over Henrik Lundqvist from the doorstep to send the Leafs to the victory.
St. Louis finished with three shots in just over 20 minutes of ice time in his Broadway debut, while Ryan McDonagh and Dominic Moore each registered a short- handed goal for New York.
Lundqvist allowed all three goals on 29 shots in defeat. He is 0-2-1 since returning from the Sochi Olympics, where he helped Team Sweden pick up a silver medal. Lundqvist has allowed a total of 13 goals during that stretch, but he will get another start tonight.
New York's No. 1 netminder is 15-8-1 with a 2.21 goals against average and .922 save percentage in 24 career games against Carolina.
The Hurricanes are seven points behind New York in the Metro standings and six points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Carolina was able to help its postseason chances the last time out, as it ended an 0-5-0 stretch with Tuesday's overtime win at San Jose. It was the only victory for the Hurricanes during a five-game road trip that began back before the Olympic break.
Jay Harrison scored with 42 seconds to play in OT to lead the Hurricanes to the much needed win over the Sharks. Andrej Sekera fired a shot on net from the left point that was stopped, but Elias Lindholm was there to pass the rebound over to the right where Harrison slammed it into the open net for the win.
"In the overtime we had some sustained pressure, we were moving the puck low to high, the D were involved," Harrison said. "If you watch the play again you'll see the D moving a lot up and down. That creates a little bit of havoc and causes the defense to have to turn. It was a real heads up play made by Lindholm to put it in the open space where I was and I had a pretty easy task of just banging it in."
Lindholm and Jiri Tlusty also scored for the Hurricanes, who snapped a season- high tying losing streak.
Carolina goaltender Anton Khudobin celebrated his new contact with a 35-save performance. He reached an agreement on a two-year, $4.5 million deal earlier in the day.
Khudobin has never faced the Rangers before, but expects to get the start on Friday.
The Rangers and Hurricanes will meet three times from now until the end of the regular season. New York posted a 5-1 home win over Carolina back on Nov. 2, giving the Rangers nine straight wins in this series. The Blueshirts also have claimed victory in five straight and seven of their past eight trips to Raleigh.
New York is 18-11-0 as the visiting team this season and the 'Canes are 15-12-5 at home.