The Hurricanes will be taking on the Predators today in another one of those popular 3PM Sunday afternoon contests. This will be the final game of a four game home stand for Carolina. They now have a record of 11-7-2 and have won three in a row, which is the longest winning streak of the year for the club.
Nashville's record is 9-9-1 and they have lost two in a row.
This weekend the Canes' fathers are in town to spend time with the team, which is an annual tradition since Peter Laviolette took over as head coach. Carolina is 5-1 in games played during this happy occasion. Eric Staal has scored two hat tricks during previous dad get-togethers, (not counting the one Friday night against Phoenix, which was officially a bit premature even if his dad was already here). Rod Brind'Amour scored one last season against the New York Islanders.
After the matinee today, the fathers will travel with the team to Sunrise, Florida and watch the Monday night affair against the Panthers.
This will be the only contest against the Preds this season. The Canes dropped the only game against them last year by a score of 1-0, in Nashville.
I would expect the lines to be pretty much the same as they were on Friday night and for Cam Ward to be back in net. The game will not be broadcast locally, but there are some options for live-streaming if you do not have Center Ice.
Here are some tidbits from Cory that are interesting-
• Shea Weber leads all defensemen in goals (eight) and points (18) and is an early season Norris candidate. Fellow young blueliner Ryan Suter is tied for 17th in points with 12.
• Greg De Vries is minus-11 through 19 games. Only Atlanta's Mathieu Schenider (minus-12) has a worse plus/minus among defensemen in the NHL. At minus-13, Rod Brind'Amour is ahead of only St. Louis' Brad Boyes (minus-14) in the league.
• Winger J-P Dumont is tied for 18th in scoring with 20 points (4-16-20) in 19 games. His 12 road points are good for a tie for 10th in the league.
• Agitator Jordan Tootoo's 41 penalty minutes ranks 23rd in the NHL.
• Radek Bonk is the No. 5 faceoff man in the league at 59.9 percent. Brind'Amour (63.0 percent) still ranks second behind Pittsburgh's Mike Zigomanis (65.0 percent). The Preds rank second in the NHL in faceoff percentage (53.5 percent). Carolina is ninth (51.1).
• Greg Zanon ranks third in blocked shots with 57, trailing Dennis Seidenberg by one. Seidenberg also ranks T-25th in the league in ice time, averaging 24:21 a game.
• Goalie Dan Ellis (7-9-1 record) is near the bottom of the league in goals-against average (3.14) and save percentage (.893). Backup Pekka Rinne has been worse (3.77 GAA, .861 S%), but is 2-0 in four appearances.
• Anton Babchuk is pointless and a minus-5 in eight games at the RBC Center this season. All seven of Ray Whitney's goals this season have come at home.
• Captain Jason Arnott had 18 points (7-11-18) in 23 career games vs. Carolina.
• Dumont has 12 goals on just 39 shots in 21 career games against the Hurricanes.
• The Preds give up 3.37 goals against — fourth worst in the league. Their power play is ranked 28th (14.4 percent) and their penalty kill is 24th (79.4).
• Nashville (5-0) is one of five teams that has not lost this year when leading after one period. They are 1-6-1 when behind after one period.
I have a couple more notes. Someone other than Katherine Fritsch will be singing the National Anthem today. "KK" accepted an offer to sing in Atlanta this afternoon before the Falcons/Panthers matchup. Good luck to her.
Finally, a win this afternoon would put the Hurricanes back into first place in the Southeast Division. The Caps have lost two games in a row, and they were beaten soundly in San Jose last night, 7-2.