April 08, 2014

Mired in their worst stretch of the season, the New York Rangers hope a matchup with an opponent they've dominated in recent years can help them get back on track.

The Rangers carry a three-game losing streak into Monday night's game against the Carolina Hurricanes, whom they've beaten in 17 of 18 meetings.

New York (16-6-2) recorded a 10th consecutive home victory over the Hurricanes on Nov. 10, winning 3-0. The Rangers have outscored Carolina 30-9 during the streak, with Henrik Lundqvist yielding one or no goals while starting eight times.

Lundqvist made 33 saves in the most recent matchup, but he's struggled in his last two outings. He surrendered a season-high five goals in Wednesday's home loss to Montreal and four in Friday's defeat at Boston.

Though backup Antti Raanta fared better Saturday against Philadelphia, the Rangers lost 3-0 to put them on the verge of their first four-game regulation skid since Feb. 3-11, 2011.

''We all need to man up,'' coach Alain Vigneault said after New York was outshot 34-24. ''I need to get this group to play better, and I'm very confident this group knows the right way to play. I'm very confident that we have the right leadership in that dressing room. I am confident that they know they can execute and play a lot better than we are right now.''

That had been the case for Rick Nash, who scored six times in a four-game goal streak prior to Saturday. Leading scorer Mats Zuccarello doesn't have a point in four straight, however, and center Derek Stepan is likely out for at least a month after suffering broken ribs on a hit by the Bruins' Matt Beleskey.

"We need everybody to be up to their game for us to be successful," defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. "We need guys going through people, we need guys close for support in case there's a breakdown and a lot more communication, a lot more fire in our game."

Nash had a goal and an assist Nov. 10 in New York's seventh straight victory over Carolina (8-11-4).

The Hurricanes lost 4-1 at Buffalo on Friday after the Sabres scored three unanswered goals over the final 28 minutes.

"I thought we had, actually, a really good 40 minutes, and for whatever reason, it wasn't a great third," forward Kris Versteeg told the NHL's official website. "I thought we really played a good game and had opportunities to score and do things like that. To carry that as a positive, we've been playing some good hockey lately."

Carolina had gone 2-0-1 in its previous three outings.

Cam Ward was pulled after two periods Friday after giving up three goals on 14 shots. He stopped 20 shots Nov. 11 and has posted a 4.03 GAA in his last five road starts against New York, losing each in regulation.

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