Hurricanes Record: 13-13-5 (31 pts.)
Oilers Record: 10-18-3 (23 pts.)
The day after playing the Vancouver Canucks the Hurricanes travel to Edmonton Alberta to take on the Edmonton Oilers. This is the first meeting between the two teams since December 7, 2011. That game, also at Rexall Place, saw the Canes win 5-3 behind a first star performance from Jeff Skinner and a second star performance from Chad LaRose.
The Canes lost a tough one last night 2-0 to the Canucks. Christopher Tanev scored early for the Canucks and Jannik Hansen scored a late goal with Peters out of the net to salt things away. Justin Peters stopped 24 of 25 shots last night. Tanev's goal came after one of Carolina's blue liners broke a stick and was unable to clear the puck. Jeff Skinner stayed down low trying to hand his stick off while the puck moved around to Tanev at the vacated point. Both Eric Staal and Skinner broke for the point, but it was too late as Tanev was able to line up his shot and find the back of the net.
The Canes powerplay failed to convert, although it did look decent when given time. Early on the Canes were able to bring the puck in to the zone, set up possession, and get off some decent shots. While the team failed to convert on the man advantage they did not display the same level of ineptitude that plagued them just a week ago.
Edmonton finds themselves sitting in 27th place in the NHL. Their young stars have struggled to keep other teams off the board, giving up a league high 105 goals. Recently though, things have been picking up for the Oilers. Edmonton is 6-3-1 in their last ten and are coming off an overtime loss to Albertan rival Calgary Flames.
The Oilers are in the middle of a five game home stand having gone 1-1-1 so far. The Oilers have been off since Saturday night and should be the more rested of the teams given the Canes game last night against the Canucks.
The Oilers are lead in scoring by David Perron (12-13-25), Taylor Hall (11-14-25) and Jordan Eberle (10-15-25). Nail Yakupov, whose early season struggles led to his name showing up in the rumor mills, has continued to struggle with only 4 goals and 9 points in 29 games this season.
The Canes have recently found their offensive scoring touch led by Jeff Skinner with 5 goals last week and the NHL's first star of the week. Not only has Skinner been hot of late, but so has team captain Eric Staal, who has been able to keep up the scoring with the recently assembled top line of E. Staal, Skinner, and Tuomo Ruutu. Will this line, and the Canes as a team, be able to get back to their recent scoring ways after being shut out last night, or will Edmonton stifle the Canes two nights in a row?
No word yet on the lineup for the Hurricanes. Given the recent death to the morning skate it's likely we will get little if any information on the games roster prior to puck drop. Given Peters played last night it would not surprise me to see Cam Ward in net. However, Peters did stop 24 of 25 and made four straight saves on an early flurry from the Canucks, so perhaps he will be rewarded tonight with back to back starts. As we get more info we will try to keep you updated.
*Update* Chuck Kaiton is reporting via twitter that Ward will start tonight and that Drayson Bowman may return to the lineup. Stick tap to Jamie Kellner for bringing this to my attention.
As always the game thread will open 30 minutes prior to game time. We look forward to seeing our night owls there once again.