Final - 2OT
  for this game

Sliding Rangers hope to get on track vs. 'Canes

Oct 16, 2014 - 2:44 PM ( - The New York Rangers try to avoid their first home loss to Carolina in almost four years on Thursday night as they welcome the winless Hurricanes to Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers have lost their first two home games of the season and three in a row overall since opening the schedule with a victory in St. Louis on Oct. 9. They have allowed 17 goals over their three-game skid and were doubled up 6-3 by the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

The Isles broke the game open by scoring three goals in the first 5:20 of the third period and four goals in the frame overall. Henrik Lundqvist was charged with all six goals on 27 shots faced.

Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said the third-period collapse came out of nowhere after his team peppered Isles goaltender Jaroslav Halak with 21 shots in the second.

"We felt good energy (in the locker room) and good preparation, talked a lot of good things," McDonagh said. "It's just a case where one mistake kind of bundled into a handful."

Rick Nash stayed hot with a pair of goals, giving him a league-leading six on the season. He is the first player in Rangers history to score a goal in each of the club's first four games of the season and first to net at least six goals in the first four contests since Don Murdoch had eight in 1976-77 for the Rangers.

New York will play the third contest of a four-game homestand tonight having won six straight over Carolina at Madison Square Garden. The Hurricanes have not won there since Oct. 29, 2010, and the Rangers have claimed a victory in 12 of the past 14 encounters overall.

In his last nine games versus the Hurricanes, Lundqvist is 8-1-0 with a 1.74 goals against average and .943 save percentage.

Carolina has picked up a loss in each of its first three games of the season, though it did battle back to earn a point with Tuesday's 4-3 shootout setback to Buffalo.

Chris Terry and Zach Boychuk both scored goals in the final 7:49 of regulation and Terry scored in the shootout, but Cam Ward was bested by Zemgus Girgensons' backhander in the eighth round of the tiebreaker to end the contest.

Terry, Boychuk and Riley Nash all had a goal and an assist, while Ward made 23 saves on 26 shots faced.

"We were down two with under 10 (minutes) to go. You're not going to get many points in this league down two with 10 to go," said Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters. "I liked the effort, I liked the fact that we stayed with it, I liked our third period."

The effort did allow the 'Canes to avoid their first 0-3-0 start since 1997-98.

Carolina begins a five-game road trip hoping that forward Jeff Skinner is close to returning. He has not played since Oct. 5 due to a concussion, but skated on Wednesday without his non-contact jersey and was scheduled to travel to New York with the club.

Skinner's status for this game is still unknown, but Peters did say he thought his forward was "real close." Skinner had 33 goals and 54 points in 71 games last season.

That would be a boost for a Carolina club that is without Jordan Staal, Eric Staal and Patrick Dwyer due to injury. Defensemen John-Michael Liles (undisclosed) and Andrej Sekera (upper body) are also day-to-day.

Skinner has six goals and 12 points in 14 career games versus the Blueshirts, while Ward is 10-12-3 with a 2.46 GAA and .923 save percentage in his career against them.