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Number To Know — Sept. 25, 2014

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Today’s Number To Know looks at how several players are facing off for the opening created by Jordan Staal’s injury.

Victor Rask (49) and Elias Lindholm (16) are two candidates to earn a spot at center after Jordan Staal suffered an injury Tuesday in Buffalo.
Victor Rask (49) and Elias Lindholm (16) are two candidates to earn a spot at center after Jordan Staal suffered an injury Tuesday in Buffalo.
Bruce Bennett
Number To Know

70.37 — Percentage of faceoffs won by rookie Victor Rask in the Carolina’s last two preseason games. Rask won eight of 11 draws Wednesday vs. the Islanders — including winning all five against Frans Nielsen, who was a team-best 49.3 percent last season for New York among their frequent faceoff men — a night after going 11 of 16 in Buffalo. Comparatively, Elias Lindholm won just three of 16 faceoffs Wednesday, a night after Riley Nash staked his claim with a 10 of 12 showing against the Sabres. One of Lindholm’s wins, however, was on the power play and earned him an assist on Jeff Skinner’s rebound goal.

With No. 2 center Jordan Staal out with a significant injury, the battle to replace him will come down to many factors. Faceoffs are a small, but significant, part of that, and thus far Rask has proven he's capable at the dot.