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Hurricanes vs. Oilers: Game Preview 3-16-14

The Canes wrap up a back-to-back in a matinee today against the Oilers. It's Military Appreciation Day at the arena.

Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Edmonton Oilers
March 16, 2014 - 3:00 pm ET
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas
Radio - 99.9 The Fan

SB Nation Rival Blog: The Copper & Blue

Hurricanes Record: 29-29-9 | 67 pts | 7th Metro | 13th EC
Oilers Record: 23-36-9 | 55 pts | 8th Pacific | 14th WC

Post-Season Picture:
Games Remaining: 15
Minimum Points Needed: 93
Points Back: 26 (1.73 points/game)
Playoff Chances (Sports Club Stats): 2.1%
Tragic Number: 23

There aren't too many Hurricanes fans that will think about a game against the Edmonton Oilers and immediately have their minds drawn to two teams hovering at the bottom of their respective conferences. Yet here we are with 15 games remaining and both teams virtually eliminated from playoff contention.

The Canes and Oilers met in Edmonton on December 10th, and the Hurricanes scored both a power play goal and a shorthanded goal to rally back from a deficit and tie things up, only to eventually lose 5-4 in overtime.

The Oilers arrive in Raleigh having lost 2-1 to Detroit in a shootout Friday night. The Hurricanes arrive back in Raleigh the victims of a 5-1 matinee loss to Boston yesterday.

Today's game wraps up a four-game road trip for the Oilers where they have gone 1-1-1 in their last three games.

Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins announced on twitter that forward Jesse Joensuu will be out of today's game with an injury. No further details are known. Sam Gagner is day-to-day recovering from an ankle injury and may be able to play. Mark Fraser (groin) is also day-to-day; Anton Belov (oblique) is out for 1-2 weeks.

Ben Scrivens will be in net today (also via Eakins twitter). Scrivens has two losses in his prior career games against the Canes.

Alexander Semin and Jordan Staal were the only players to log points yesterday, so they were both able kept points streaks going. Semin (4g, 5a) has points in seven straight games and Jordan (2g, 6a) has points in five straight.

Anton Khudobin is likely to be back in goal today for the first time since March 7th. He has two prior wins against the Oilers from 2010 and 2011 while he was tending net for the Minnesota Wild.

Current line combinations: [Oilers] [Hurricanes]

The Canes will be back in black today, wearing their alternate jerseys.

There should be a lively crowd in the building to support Military Appreciation Day as veterans and active military will be honored during the game. There are pre-game festivities on the South Plaza, and the players will be wearing commemorative jerseys at warmups. Fans can donate washcloths and razors to the USO of North Carolina and enter a drawing for a chance to win some cool prizes from the team.

We'll have the game thread ready to roll by 2:30 pm. See you at the rink.