|Division Rank||8th Metro||3rd Atlantic|
|Conference Rank||16th EC||5th EC|
|Streak||Lost 5||Won 2|
|Power Play %||19.2%||15.5%|
|Penalty Kill %||81.6%||84.8%|
|ES Goals For %||41.0%||52.7%|
|ES Corsi For %||52.1%||50.3%|
|ES Save Percentage||.914||.930|
|ES Save Percentage||.893||.910|
- The Hurricanes continue to toil away at the bottom on the NHL standings. They are currently on a five-game losing streak, during which they have not been able to muster more than one goal per game despite generating 161 shots on goal (I believe that equates to a 3.1% conversion rate). They are now on pace for a 54 points.
- The Canes were down to 11 healthy forwards on Saturday against the Flyers, and with no one poised to return this week, Justin Shugg was called up yesterday from the Charlotte Checkers and will make his NHL debut tonight. He becomes the third player from the 2010 draft (behind Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk) to suit up for the Canes. In 17 games this season for the Checkers, Shugg leads the team with nine goals and has eleven points. Shugg won back-to-back Memorial Cups as a member of the Windsor Spitfires in 2009 and 2010, and reached the Memorial Cup final game with Mississauga in 2011. He won an ECHL Kelly Cup title with the Florida Everblades, leading the team with seven playoff goals. A native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Shugg (aka Shuggernaut) will have plenty of family at the Bell Centre tonight to witness his first NHL start.
- In order to make roster room for Shugg, Andrej Nestrasil, after missing two games with an upper body injury, was moved to injured reserve, where he will join Alexander Semin, who has missed three games with a lower body injury. Jiri Tlusty was considered a game-time decision on Saturday, but was unable to play and is still out of the line-up as well with an upper body injury. Neither Nestrasil, Semin, nor Tlusty made the trip to Montreal, and all three are undergoing further evaluation and treatment in Raleigh.
- Jordan Staal continues to practice with the team but has not taken contact. Head coach Bill Peters remains hopeful that Jordan can get back into the line-up before the end of December (here's his post-practice audio).
- Jeff Skinner is now one point away from 200 career NHL points.
- After leading the Eastern Conference for most of October and November, the Canadiens took a bit of a dip in the standings after losing three straight on the road. Now back at home and in the middle of a five-game home stand, they're back to winning ways, scoring nine goals combined in two games against the Canucks and Kings. They are 11-3-1 at home this season.
- Tomas Plekanec, P.K. Subban, and Max Pacioretty are tied atop the Montreal scoring ranks with 22 points each. Pacioretty leads the team in goals with 13.
- Rookie Sven Andrighetto made his NHL debut three games ago and has points in all three games played (2g, 1a).
- Forward Lars Eller (upper body) and defenseman Mike Weaver (concussion) have been practicing with the team but remain out with injuries. Former Hurricane Bryan Allen has also been out with an illness but may be able to return to the line-up tonight.
- The Canes will see another familiar face across the face-off circle with Manny Malhotra in the Habs line-up.
- Goaltender Carey Price is a key driver behind Montreal's early season success, with 16 wins. Coming off a first-star performance against the L.A. Kings where he stopped 44 of 46 shots, head coach Michel Therrien has confirmed that he will get the start in net again tonight. Price is 10-5-2 with a 2.35 GAA and two shutouts in 17 career games against the Canes.
- This is the first of three meetings between the Canes and Canadiens this season. The Canadiens won the series last season with two wins and an overtime loss.
- Finally, tonight's player to watch is none other than Canes captain Eric Staal, who scored his 100th career power play goal on Saturday against the Flyers and is a point-per-game player against the Habs with 37 career points in 36 games. Congratulations are in order for Eric and his family as they welcomed a new addition yesterday. If my math is correct, I believe he'll be draft eligible in 2033.