Carolina Hurricanes vs. Vancouver Canucks
January 16, 2015 - 7:00 pm ET
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas
Radio - 99.9 FM The Fan
SB Nation Rival Blog - Nucks Misconduct
|Division Rank||8th Metro||3rd Pacific|
|Conference Rank||15th EC||7th WC|
|Streak||Won 1||Won 1|
|Power Play %||17.7%||20.5%|
|Penalty Kill %||86.8%||87.3%|
|ES Goals For %||41.5%||46.3%|
|ES Corsi For %||51.6%||49.7%|
|ES Save Percentage||.913||.919|
|ES Save Percentage||.907||.912|
Stats via NHL.com and War on Ice
- The Hurricanes are 4-1-1 and undefeated on home ice since the calendar turned to 2015. That's a respectable record for a team that is actually playing decent hockey of late. Goaltending has been very solid, they are defensively sound, and special teams are commendable (especially the penalty kill, now perfect for a franchise record
1011 straight games). With a return to health, the forward ranks are balanced and have begun to drive offense. Their 18 goals in six January games matches the entire output in December's 14 games. All of this may very well come at the expense of a high pick in the draft, but there is certainly an optimism that the team is trending in the right direction, which should make for interesting decisions by the general manager heading into the second half of the season and the trade deadline.
- Speaking of healthy forwards, another may be making his return to the line-up tonight. Andrej Nestrasil has missed 16 games after suffering an upper body injury in the December 8th game against the Devils. He was activated from injured reserve last week, and spent three games with the Charlotte Checkers on a conditioning stint. He returned to Canes practice yesterday and skated on the fourth line with Jay McClement and Patrick Dwyer, which is where he will likely start if he's in the line-up tonight. More from Nestrasil can be found in yesterday's Canes Rink Report.
- Elias Lindholm played in his 100th NHL game on Saturday against St. Louis, and discussed his 100 (and one including the shootout win against the Avs Tuesday) games with Michael Smith on the Canes Tracking the Storm blog.
- Ryan Murphy has points (4 assists) in three straight games.
- For the second game in a row, the Canes are sitting at home and catching an opponent on the back end of back-to-back road games. The Canucks visited the City of Brotherly Love last night and came away victorious in a 4-0 shutout of the Flyers. All four goals (two on the power play) were scored in the first 22 minutes, and goaltender Ryan Miller returned from a two-game absence (flu) to save all 30 shots.
- The Canucks are solidly entrenched in a playoff spot in the Western Conference, but they came into last night's game having lost their last three games, and the four goals scored were more than were scored in the three losses. The "leaders led" with the Sedin twins contributing two points each, and Kevin Bieksa making his physical presence known early as he traded punches with Wayne Simmonds. Ex-Cane Radim Vrbata was responsible for one of the power play goals. Although Miller faced 30 shots, his night was not overly taxing, and while head coach Willie Dejardins typically splits goaltending responsibilities in a back-to-back scenario, it is possible that the Canucks will go with Miller again tonight over backup Eddie Lack. Miller is 14-9-4 lifetime against the Canes with a 2.60 GAA, and Lack has two wins in as many games with one goal against and one shutout.
- The Canucks should get another huge boost on defense tonight with the expected return of Dan Hamhuis, who has missed 21 games recovering from a groin tear.
- Vancouver has won 10 of the last 13 meetings between the two teams, including a sweep of the Canes in home and away games last season.
Hurricanes (from Thursday's practice)
Injuries and Scratches: Chris Terry (healthy), Brad Malone (healthy), Brett Bellemore (healthy)
Canucks (from Thursday's game)
Injuries and Scratches: Dan Hamhuis (groin), Zack Kassian (healthy), Frank Corrado (healthy)
Catch the morning skate live on Storm Surge (streaming on Canes website) starting at 10:30 am. Tonight's game is the last home game for the Canes before the All-Star break. Good seats are still available.