Carolina Hurricanes at St. Louis Blues
January 10, 2015 - 8:00 pm ET
Scottrade Center - St. Louis, MO
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas
Radio - 99.9 FM The Fan
SB Nation Rival Blog - St. Louis Game Time
|Division Rank||8th Metro||3rd Central|
|Conference Rank||16th EC||4th WC|
|Streak||Won 1||Won 3|
|Power Play %||18.2%||26.4%|
|Penalty Kill %||86.6%||79.9%|
|ES Goals For %||40.7%||56.2%|
|ES Corsi For %||51.2%||51.1%|
|ES Save Percentage||.915||.951|
|ES Save Percentage||.905||.906|
Stats via NHL.com and War on Ice
- Last year the Canes and Blues split their season series with each team winning on home ice. They will meet tonight for their first time this season, and wrap the series up in Raleigh to close out January.
- Speaking of January, so far the Canes are 3-1-0 to start off the new calendar year. And tonight officially starts the second half of the 2014-15 season with game 42. With a return to health, the Hurricanes have continued to show improvements in their performance, and head coach Bill Peters provided a state of the team after yesterday's practice (practice audio and CH.com interview).
- Ron Francis, along with Peters, gave his take on the first half of the season in an interview with the N&O. Francis addressed several topics including the upcoming draft and trade rumors (specifically the Cam Ward to Minnesota Wild speculation).
- The Canes are likely icing the same line-up as the one Thursday night in the 5-2 win against Buffalo, but that hasn't been confirmed, nor has a starting goaltender been announced.
- Eric Staal has been solid in with seven points in his last seven games. In six out of those seven games he showed up on the score sheet, and in the game where he didn't, he scored the shootout winner. He leads the team with 25 points (12g, 13a).
- When the NHL All-Star Game roster is announced this evening, Justin Faulk is the most likely to represent for the Hurricanes. Coming off a season that included both a spot on the USA Olympic squad and a contract extension, this year Faulk is second in team scoring with 24 points (7g, 17a), second in power play points (9), and leads the team in total time on ice and average TOI/game. Faulk has three points (1g, 2a) in his last two games.
- For the first time as a Hurricane, Jay McClement will return to the city where he spent six years, 499 games, and 156 points as a member of the Blues.
- Andrej Nestrasil has joined the Checkers for his conditioning stint, an arrangement which can last for up to fourteen days before he'll return to the Hurricanes. According to the MLive/Grand Rapids Press, he barely made it from Raleigh to Grand Rapids in time to join the Checkers for warmups in a game against his former team yesterday (must be something about the number 15). Nestrasil had one shot on goal and two penalty minutes in about 13 minutes of ice time in the 2-1 win for the Checkers. By the way, the article also indicates that it was an abdominal injury incurred in the December 8th game against the Devils that put Nestrasil on injured reserve.
- Congratulations to Elias Lindholm who will be playing in his 100th career NHL game tonight.
- The Blues started 2015 with a loss but have since rattled off three straight wins including a 7-2 drubbing of the Sharks on Thursday night. Seven Blues players had a multi-point night. The Blues have scored 20 goals in their last three games (not to beat a dead horse but the Canes scored 18 goals in the entire month of December), while holding their opponents to just four goals.
- Those three games produced seven goals on the man advantage, giving the Blues the top-ranked power play in the NHL, clicking along at a 26.4% pace. The architect of that power play? None other than former Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller, now an assistant under Ken Hitchcock. The Canes will be well-advised to stay out of the penalty box (they've been successful this season logging the lowest PIMs/game in the league), but if they have to defend short-handed, they've been up to the task, now with the NHL's fifth best penalty kill (86.6%) which has been perfect for the last nine games (26 straight kills).
- The Blues have two candidates that they hope will crack the NHL All-Star roster; forward Vladimir Tarasenko, who leads the team with 43 points (22g, 21a), and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk who currently leads all NHL defensemen in scoring with 36 points (7g, 29a).
- The Blues held an optional skate yesterday, and because why would you mess with a good thing, Hitchcock is keeping the same line-up from Thursday's game, including Brian Elliott as the starter in net. Elliott has a career record of 6-4-0 against the Canes with a 2.45 GAA. Sorry folks but no Bump-a-Marty-party repeat, as Brodeur is the third goalie in the rotation and a health scratch tonight.
Hurricanes depth chart (from Friday's practice)
Eric Staal - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm
Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Jiri Tlusty
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Alexander Semin
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer
Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk
Ron Hainsey - John-Michael Liles
Tim Gleason - Ryan Murphy
Injuries and Scratches: Chris Terry (healthy), Brett Bellemore (healthy), Andrej Nestrasil (healthy, reassigned to Charlotte for conditioning)
Blues depth chart (from Thursday's game)
Alexander Steen - David Backes - T.J. Oshie
Jaden Schwartz - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko
Dmitrij Jaskin - Paul Stastny - Patrik Berglund
Steve Ott - Maxim Lapierre - Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Carl Gunnarsson - Kevin Shattenkirk
Barret Jackman - Chris Butler
Injuries and Scratches: Chris Porter (IR leg), Joakim Lindstrom (healthy), Ian Cole (healthy), Martin Brodeur (healthy)