The Carolina Hurricanes will be looking for their first win of the young season tonight as the Tampa Bay Lightning visit the RBC. The Canes were knocked around on the scoreboard and on the ice Saturday night against Boston as they lost, 7-2. While their overall play has been somewhat lackluster so far, their special teams have been downright atrocious.
The powerplay is 1-17 and the penalty kill is at 54%. Those numbers will need to change drastically if the Hurricanes intend to turn their season around.
The Lightning have only played one game so far this season and lost, 6-3 to Atlanta as the Thrashers scored early and often on Saturday night.
Joni Pitkanen is expected to make a return for the home team. The defenseman led the team in average ice time last season and is a mainstay with the man advantage. The club has missed his presence. He will be paired with Aaron Ward, while Andrew Alberts will be moved alongside Niclas Wallin. Jay Harrison will be scratched.
Tim Conboy will be thrown into the mix as a replacement for Erik Cole, who will be out for at least a month with a broken bone in his leg. Look for the following lines, at least to start out:
- Staal, Ruutu, Samsonov
- Cullen, Whitney, LaRose
- Brind'Amour, Walker, Jokinen
- Yelle, Kostopoulos, Conboy
- Gleason, Corvo
- Pitkanen, Ward
- Wallin, Alberts
Cam Ward will be in net.
The Canes beat the Lightning in all six meetings last year, outscoring them 25-13. The franchise has not had an 0-3 start to a season since 1997-98. Before this season, the last time they started out 0-2 was in 2003-04.
For the latest about the Lightning, you can check out Raw Charge.
As we mentioned earlier, the game will not be televised. If you can not make it to the arena, you can listen to Chuck on 99.9 The Fan at 7, with the pregame show starting at 6:30. We will have the "Live Game Thread" cranked up at 6.
For those interested in possibly winning some prizes, go to this site "SPG", and make your predictions who will shoot, receive a penalty, or score in each period for Carolina. This is similar to the Canes Country Points contests we ran last season. Even if you don't care about prizes, it looks like it will be fun, so check it out and sign up if you have the chance. It's not too late to try. The leaders only have one point each.