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Hurricanes at Devils: Preview

Yes, for the second time in four days, it's Canes versus Devils.

Oh hai Justin Faulk. Fancy seeing you here.
Oh hai Justin Faulk. Fancy seeing you here.
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes at New Jersey Devils
December 29, 2015 - 7:00 pm ET
Prudential Center - Newark, NJ
Fox Sports Southeast - 99.9 FM - WRALSportsFan app
SB Nation Rivals - All About The Jersey

Vital Statistics

Hurricanes Devils
Record 15-16-5 17-14-5
Points 35 39
Division Rank 7th Metro 4th Metro
Conference Rank 13th EC 10th EC
Last 10 Games 6-3-1 4-4-2
Streak Won 2 Lost 1

Goals/Game 2.36 2.28
Goals Against/Game 2.83 2.39
ES Goals For % 44.4% 46.5%
Shots/Game 29.7 25.0
Shots Against/Game 26.1 28.3
ES Corsi For % 53.1% 46.5%
Faceoff % 53.0% 47.5%
ES PDO 97.3 99.5
Power Play % (Rank) 17.7% (21) 20.0% (11)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 77.4% (28) 82.0% (9)
PIM/Game 06:19 10:41

Goaltender #1 Ward Schneider
Record 11-10-3 15-10-5
ES Save % .908 .935
GAA 2.49 2.17

Goaltender #2 Lack Kinkaid
Record 4-6-2 2-4-0
ES Save % .893 .897
GAA 3.13 2.48

*Stats from and War on Ice

Game Notes

  • If this preview feels like deja vu, well, it probably is. The Canes and Devils met just three nights ago in Raleigh. The Canes avenged an earlier December loss with a solid 3-1 win, and from there went on to upend the defending Stanley Cup champions in their barn Sunday night.
  • The Devils haven't played since Saturday's loss, and after a day off Sunday they resumed practice yesterday. Their lineup has remained relatively intact this season save for injury replacements, but with Saturday's loss, along with the inability to string together wins, head coach John Hynes shuffled the forward lines and defensive pairings yesterday. The Canes will see a different look from the opposition tonight. Most notably, Devils leading scorer Kyle Palmieri will move up to the top forward line with Mike Cammalleri (centered by Travis Zajac), and John Moore will move up to the top defensive pairing with Andy Greene.
  • Patrik Elias remains sidelined with a knee injury and will not play tonight. He may be headed to injured reserve today to make room for Bobby Farnham, who is ready to return after recovering from a shoulder injury. Tuomo Ruutu did not skate yesterday due to illness (which we can hope he did not spread to his friends while he was in Raleigh) and is a game-time decision.
  • Hynes has not yet announced tonight's starting goaltender (the Devils play back-to-back games tonight and tomorrow). Cory Schneider was in net for Saturday's loss, and Keith Kinkaid was in net for the win against the Canes on December 3.
  • Savor for a moment the knowledge that Justin Faulk was the best player on the ice Sunday night among such notables as Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, and Corey Crawford. The game's first star in Sunday's 2-1 win against the Blackhawks is carrying a two-game goal scoring streak into tonight's game, both goals his first of the season at even strength. Faulk is now on pace for a 32-goal season. For perspective, Mike Green currently holds the single season record for goals scored among active defensemen (31, 2008-09) and the next best is Shea Weber (23, 2013-14).
  • Riding a two-game winning streak, head coach Bill Peters isn't expected to make a lot of adjustments to tonight's lineup, though one may be necessary depending on the status of Elias Lindholm. Lindy didn't practice yesterday, and the reason for his absence wasn't disclosed, but in post-practice comments Peters indicated he expected him to take warmups tonight, so it must be considered a minor issue.
  • Peters also hasn't named his starting goaltender, though with Cam Ward solid in the win Saturday and Eddie Lack following up with his best game of the season Sunday, #fornow this decision can be filed away as a 'good problem to have'.
  • The Canes have picked up points in their last five road games, with a 4-0-1 record. Now at 35 points thanks to a 7-4-1 record in December, they have separated from the bottom of the league by six points, are two points behind the Penguins and Flyers in the Metro division, and are seven points out of a wild card spot.
  • UPDATE 12:00 pm: Ward and Kinkaid are confirmed as tonight's starters in net. Lindholm is probable for tonight's game, so unless there's a last-minute change, the Canes lineup should remain intact. For the Devils, Ruutu is confirmed out of tonight's lineup (illness). Josefson will likely be a healthy scratch at forward, with Matteau drawing in and his line and Farnham activated from IR to replace Ruutu (not confirmed but should see official word later this afternoon).
  • *** Programming note, tonight's game will air on FoxSports SouthEast, not FoxSports Carolinas. Check here to find the channel lineup from your provider. ***

Projected Lineups

Hurricanes (12/29 media report)

Kris Versteeg - Eric Staal - Elias Lindholm
Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Andrej Nestrasil
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Phillip Di Giuseppe
Riley Nash - Jay McClement - Chris Terry
Brad Malone

John-Michael Liles - Justin Faulk 
Ron Hainsey - Jaccob Slavin
Noah Hanifin - Brett Pesce
Michal Jordan

Cam Ward
Eddie Lack

Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (IR ACL), Nathan Gerbe (ankle)

Devils (12/29 media report)

Mike Cammalleri - Travis Zajac - Kyle Palmieri
Jiri Tlusty - Adam Henrique - Tyler Kennedy
Sergey KalininStefan Matteau (Jacob Josefson) - Lee Stempniak
Bobby Farnham (Tuomo Ruutu) - Stephen Gionta - Jordin Tootoo

Andy Greene - John Moore
Adam Larsson - David Schlemko
Jon Merrill/Eric Gelinas - Damon Severson

Keith Kinkaid
Cory Schneider

Injuries and Scratches: Bobby Farnham (IR shoulder), Patrick Elias (knee)

Storm Debris

  • Canes Game Day Hub [].
  • Report from yesterday's Canes practice in New Jersey, with quotes from Bill Peters and information on new hardware being doled out in the locker room [].
  • With the Devils hovering around mediocrity, John Hynes shakes up lines and defense pairs [Fire and Ice].
  • Elias could end up on IR with Bobby Farnham ready to return [Fire and Ice].
  • From the World Juniors: Sweden shut out USA yesterday, here are five things to know (spoiler, one of them is about Canes prospect Alex Nedeljkovic) [CBS Sports].
  • Also from World Juniors, Canes prospect Sebastian Aho has become the "center of attention" for Team Finland [IIHF].
  • ESPN has updated its power rankings for Week 12, at the risk of sounding like clickbait, "where they have the Canes ranked may surprise you" [ESPN].
  • Looking forward a bit to Thursday's opponent, check out this delightful read from Caps forward Evgeny Kuznetsov: How we play hockey in Russia [Players' Tribune].