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Canes at Avalanche: Preview

The battle begins between two natural disasters that wreak the most damage in their home terrains.

John-Michael Liles played seven seasons with the Avs and has been selected to their 20th Anniversary team.
John-Michael Liles played seven seasons with the Avs and has been selected to their 20th Anniversary team.
Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes at Colorado Avalanche
October 21, 2015 - 10:00 pm ET
Pepsi Center - Denver, CO
Fox Sports Carolinas - 99.9 FM - WRALSportsFan app
SB Nation Rivals - Mile High Hockey

Vital Statistics

Hurricanes Avalanche
Record 1-4-0 2-3-0
Points 2 4
Division Rank 7th Metro 7th Central
Conference Rank 15th EC 10th WC
Last 10 Games 1-4-0 2-3-0
Streak Lost 1 Lost 1

Goals/Game 2.20 3.20
Goals Against/Game 3.40 3.20
ES Goals For % 38.1% 40.9%
Shots/Game 30.2 24.2
Shots Against/Game 25.6 32.6
ES Corsi For % 54.0% 36.8%
Faceoff % 53.8% 46.5%
ES PDO 95.4 101
Power Play % (Rank) 10.0% 33.3%
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 72.7% 88.2%
PIM/Game 05:12 13:24

Goaltender #1 Ward Valamov
Record 1-3-0 1-2-0
ES Save % .877 .849
GAA 3.30 5.07

Goaltender #2 Lack Berra
Record 0-1-0 1-1-0
ES Save % .889 .973
GAA 3.08 .85

*Stats from and War on Ice

Game Notes

  • The second act of the Hurricanes three-act State Fair road trip features three games in four nights against the Western Conference and starts tonight in the mile high city against the Colorado Avalanche.
  • History certainly favors the home team in this matchup. Since relocation, the Hurricanes have never won in Colorado (they last won there as the Whalers in 1996). The Canes came close last season, at least through one period, taking a 2-0 lead then a 3-1 lead and chasing goaltender Reto Berra, before allowing the Avs to dominate the last two periods to come away with a 4-3 regulation win on November 22. Likewise, the Avalanche haven't won in Raleigh since 2008 (the teams will play there on October 30 to wrap up this season's series).
  • Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog leads his team in scoring with four goals and six points. Nathan MacKinnon also has six points (2g, 4a) on the season and is a point-per-game player (4 points in 4 games) against the Canes along with veteran Jarome Iginla, who has 26 points (14g, 12a) in 23 games against Carolina. Mikko Rantanen is one of five 2015 draftees (drafted 10th) that made the jump to the NHL this season, joining Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Daniel Sprong, and the Canes' own Noah Hanifin. Rantanen is the only player out of the five to be held without a point so far this season.
  • The Avs don't skate on game days, so their line-up reflects yesterday's practice. Tyson Barrie will not be in the line-up, as he is serving a three-game suspension for charging and interference against Simon Despres in a game against the Ducks on October 16th. Semyon Varlamov is the announced starting goaltender. Varlamov had a rough night in his last start, chased after allowing five goals on 19 shots against Boston on October 14th, but head coach Patrick Roy says he is ready for another start.
  • The Hurricanes practiced yesterday with the same forward lines and defensive pairings that were deployed in the last two games, and head coach Bill Peters says he intends to stick with that line-up for now. Riley Nash, recovering from a shoulder injury, participated in a full practice yesterday but is not expected to be in the line-up. Joakim Nordstrom is on the trip but has not practiced. Rasmus Rissanen was recalled from the Checkers (on the road in Grand Rapids) for extra help on defense, but he is not expected to play tonight. Peters had not decided on a starter in net as of yesterday's post-practice media scrum; stay tuned for news in that regard.
  • There are three Canes players in the lineup who have not hit the scoresheet this season. Jordan Staal remains without a point through five games, but he is a point-per-game player against the Avalanche (12 points in 9 games played) so perhaps this opponent provides a kick-start for him. Andrej Nestrasil is also without a point (Michal Jordan is the third) and notched his first career NHL goal against the Avs last November in his first game as a member of the Hurricanes.
  • Jay McClement (104 games) and Brad Malone (54 games) spent part of their careers with the Avalanche organization.
  • Special congratulations go out to John-Michael Liles, who was drafted by the Avalanche in 2000 and played in 523 regular season and 36 playoff games for them over seven seasons, for his selection by fan vote to the Avalanche 20th Anniversary team (which will be recognized in a ceremony later this year).

Projected Lineups


Brock McGinn - Eric Staal - Kris Versteeg
Nathan Gerbe - Jordan Staal - Andrej Nestrasil
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Chris Terry

Ron Hainsey - Justin Faulk 
John-Michael Liles - Michal Jordan
Noah Hanifin - Ryan Murphy

Eddie Lack
Cam Ward

Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (IR - ACL), Riley Nash (shoulder), Joakim Nordstrom (undisclosed), Rasmus Rissanen (healthy)


Mikko Rantanen - Matt Duchene - Jarome Iginla
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Alex Tanguay
Blake Comeau - Carl Soderberg - John Mitchell
Cody McLeod - Mikhail Grigorenko - Jack Skille

Francois Beauchemin - Erik Johnson
Nikita Zadorov - Nate Guenin
Brad Stuart - Nick Holden

Semyon Varlamov
Reto Berra

Injuries and scratches: Jesse Winchester (IR concussion), Brandon Gormley (healthy), Tyson Barrie (suspension)

Storm Debris (random news clips)

  • Bill Peters post-practice media scrum 10/20/15 [].
  • A recap of the first five Hurricanes games [] and what to look for in the next five [].
  • John-Michael Liles talks altitude adjustments playing in Denver [N&O], and Nathan Gerbe talks about his pre-game routine, which involves a bit of quiet time [N&O].
  • In The Pipeline: A report of all the Canes' current prospects along with an in-depth perspective on goaltending prospect Callum Booth [Canes and Coffee].
  • Avalanche Announces 20th Anniversary Team (includes John-Michael Liles) [].
  • Prepping for the Canes: Avalanche practice notes 10/20/15 [].
  • Patrick Roy is right; Dump the morning skate [Denver Post].
  • Tyson Barrie is philosophical about his three-game suspension [Denver Post].