- Katie Strang, ESPN.com
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At a glance: Now that the shock of seeing Martin St. Louis in a Broadway blueshirt has abated, it’s time for the New York Rangers to shake off Wednesday’s stunning trade and get back to business. With captain Ryan Callahan now in Tampa Bay and the defending Art Ross Trophy winner in the Big Apple instead, the Rangers look to get back on track after three straight losses. The Blueshirts hit the road for Carolina, where they face the Hurricanes on Friday night.
Mats attack: According to reports out of Carolina, Mats Zuccarello will return to the lineup after missing time with a broken hand suffered during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The diminutive Norwegian winger should give the Rangers’ offense a boost; Zuccarello is second on the team in scoring with 15 goals and 43 points in 58 games this season.
New faces: Callahan’s departure was just one half of the historic captain swap between the Rangers and the Bolts. The deadline-day deal also brought St. Louis to New York, where he made his Broadway debut against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night just hours after being dealt. The 38-year-old veteran registered three shots on goal in 20:11 with his new club, though the Rangers fell in overtime 3-2.
Not quite the same: The Rangers are going to need better goaltending from starter Henrik Lundqvist than they have received of late. The 2012 Vezina Trophy winner has given up 13 goals combined in the three games played since post-Olympic action began. Lundqvist led the Swedish national team to the gold-medal game in Sochi before falling to the Canadians, so fatigue may be a factor, but the Rangers have to hope he rounds into form heading into the last month of the season.
Home sweet home: The Canes return home after a rough five-game road trip where they went just 1-4-0. That said, Carolina is coming off a big overtime win against the San Jose Sharks and hope to carry that momentum into Friday’s action.
16hDanny Knobler, Special to ESPN.com
1dDanny Knobler, Special to ESPN.com
16hMark Simon, ESPN Stats & Information