Hurricanes Record: 8-9-4 (20 pts.)
Red Wings Record: 9-6-7 (25 pts.)
After two tough losses to the Bruins and Blues the Canes look to get back to their winning way against the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit broke a streak of 5 consecutive games lost in overtime or a shoot out with a regulation loss to Nashville Tuesday night.
This is the first meeting between these two teams since the opening night of the regular season for the Hurricanes. In that game Henrik Zetterberg Detroit scored a late third period goal to force overtime and Stephen Weiss scored the game winner 3:13 in to overtime. Newcomers Radek Dvorak and Nathan Gerbe had the two goals for the Hurricanes that night while Justin Abdelkader had the first goal for the Wings.
Detroit's top scorers so far on the season are Henrik Zetterberg (10-13-23), Pavel Datsyuk (11-11-22), and long time Senators Captain Daniel Alfredsson (3-11-14). Detroit's power play is converting on 20.9% of their opportunities (14 of 67) which is good for 7th best in the league. The Penalty Kill is stout as well, having killed off 85.9% (73 of 85) penalties which is good for 5th best in the league.
The faceoff circle looks like a place where the teams will be fairly evenly matched. Detroit is winning 51.8% of their faceoffs, which is good for 10th best in the league. The Canes sit at 51.0%, which is 13th best. With that said, the Canes were in 27th in the league early in the season. The addition of Manny Malhotra has changed the teams fortunes in the faceoff circle.
The Canes have practiced the last two days testing out various line combinations in the process. No word yet on how that will shake out for tonight's game. The line combinations may very well come down to who can and cannot play. Jeff Skinner has practiced the last two days
but there is still no official word on if he will play tonight. *UPDATE - The Canes have activated Jeff Skinner from the IR and placed Alex Semin on the IR. Jeff Skinner will play tonight and may be on a line with Eric Staal.* Kevin Westgarth has been getting time with Malhotra, Radek Dvorak, and Drayson Bowman at practice, but it's still uncertain if Westgarth will be back in the lineup. As we get more information we will endeavor to keep you posted.
As always the open thread will be up 30 minutes before the game. We hope to see you there!