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Game Day Hurricanes at Lightning: Net Front Presence Edition

One of these teams is scoring goals. The other is not. That must change.

This is what it looked like back in the days when the Canes could score goals.....
This is what it looked like back in the days when the Canes could score goals.....

Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning
December 11, 2014 - 7:30 pm ET
Amalie Arena - Tampa, FL
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas
Radio - 99.9 FM The Fan
SB Nation Rival Blog - Raw Charge

Fancy Stats

Hurricanes Lightning
Record 8-16-3 18-8-3
Points 19 39
Division Rank 8th Metro 2nd Atlantic
Conference Rank 16th EC 3rd EC
Streak Lost 3 Lost 2

Power Play % 19.5% 22.0%
Penalty Kill % 83.6% 79.8%
Goals/Game 2.18 3.45
Goals Against/Game 2.74 2.55
Shots/Game 30 29.9
Shots Against/Game 27.9 27.3
ES Goals For % 39.0% 59.1%
ES Corsi For % 51.9% 53.9%
PIM/Game 7.8 10.5

Goaltender Ward Bishop
Record 8-10-1 16-5-2
ES Save Percentage .911 .917
GAA 2.49 2.31

Goaltender Khudobin Nabokov
Record 0-6-2 2-3-1
ES Save Percentage .901 .912
GAA 2.88 3.15

Game Notes

(Hey folks. Apologies if this is a little brief or incoherent, I'm under the weather, but taking the morning skate and in the line-up regardless).

  • After a 2-1 loss to the Devils on Monday, the Canes had an off-day Tuesday and practiced yesterday at RCI before making the trip to Tampa for their first game of three this season against the Lightning. This starts a stretch of three road games for the Canes after going 1-4-0 in five straight at home.
  • The focus of yesterday's practice can be culled down to three words: net front presence. The Canes rank next-to-last in goals per game (2.18), and have only scored three goals in their last three games despite outshooting their opponents 105-66. Bill Peters continued to emphasize the need to generate traffic, getting in the goalie's eyes, and going to the net with purpose.
  • Eric Staal and Alexander Semin didn't practice yesterday, and according to Peters, Staal is expected to skate this morning and is a game time decision for tonight. Semin is still a ways from returning, dinged up with both wrist and lower body injuries cited.
  • A big story coming out of yesterday's practice is that Jordan Staal is traveling on the road with the team and should make his practice debut (in no contact gear) this morning.
  • Congratulations to Andrej Sekera who will be playing in his 100th game for the Canes, and congratulations to Ron Hainsey who will be playing in his 700th career NHL game tonight.
  • Though tied for first place in the Eastern Conference with 39 points, the Lightning have hit a bit of a slump, losing their last two games and three of their last four, their latest loss a 5-3 decision against the Capitals on Tuesday.
  • One certainty for the Lightning is that they generate offense. Despite the recent losses, they lead the league in total goals (100) and goals per game (3.45). They are second in goal differential (+26), and third in even strength goals for (59%).
  • The Lightning's best player is their best player. Steven Stamkos scored his 250th career NHL goal on Tuesday night, and leads his team in goals (17) and points (33) and is ranked third and fourth respectively in the NHL in those categories.
  • Victor Hedman logged his fourth multi-point game of the season on Tuesday, assisting on all three Tampa Bay goals.
  • Netminder Ben Bishop ranks second in the league in wins (16).
  • After posting assists in two straight games, rookie Jonathan Drouin was a healthy scratch for Tuesday's game; no word as to whether he will be back in the line-up tonight.
  • The Lightning have five players with more than 20 points (the Canes have none, by the way, Justin Faulk leads in total points with 16).

Join us for all the action at Amalie Arena (wait what? Yes, Amalie Oil bought the naming rights in September) with the game thread starting at 7:00 pm.