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Hurricanes vs Canadiens: Preview

After three straight losses, the Hurricanes made several roster moves yesterday, and they'll take on the best team in the Eastern Conference tonight.

Phil Di Giuseppe has earned his first NHL call-up
Phil Di Giuseppe has earned his first NHL call-up
Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes vs Montreal Canadiens
December 5, 2015 - 7:00 pm ET
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
Fox Sports Carolinas - 99.9 FM - WRALSportsFan app
SB Nation Rivals - Eyes On The Prize

Vital Statistics

Hurricanes Canadiens
Record 8-13-4 19-5-3
Points 20 41
Division Rank 8th Metro 1st Atlantic
Conference Rank 16th EC 1st EC
Last 10 Games 2-4-4 6-3-1
Streak Lost 3 Lost 1

Goals/Game 2.04 3.37
Goals Against/Game 2.96 2.19
ES Goals For % 40.2% 57.6%
Shots/Game 30.7 31.0
Shots Against/Game 25.4 28.3
ES Corsi For % 54.8% 52.6%
Faceoff % 54.7% 49.8%
ES PDO 95.6 101.6
Power Play % (Rank) 12.2% (30) 23.1% (4)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 74.6% (29) 86.8% (2)
PIM/Game 06:24 09:00

Goaltender #1 Ward Condon
Record 7-8-3 9-3-3
ES Save % .905 .925
GAA 2.53 2.17

Goaltender #2 Lack Fucale
Record 1-5-1 -
ES Save % .875 -
GAA 3.54 -

*Stats from and War on Ice

Game Notes

  • Last night, around 11:40 pm ET, the Calgary Flames scored with one second left on the clock to force overtime against the Boston Bruins. The Flames would go on to win the game, but the overtime point, combined with an overtime point for Columbus and an overtime win for Edmonton earlier in the evening, pushed your Carolina Hurricanes into sole possession of 30th place in the NHL standings. Welcome to rock bottom, Canes fans. Nowhere to go from here but up.
  • After an uninspiring 5-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils Thursday night, an effort head coach Bill Peters described as emotionally unengaged, the Canes went silent on Friday, canceling a scheduled team practice and media availability. Shortly after 5:00 pm, the team announced four roster moves. Defenseman Ryan Murphy, recalled Wednesday, was returned to the Charlotte Checkers, and defenseman Jaccob Slavin was recalled along with forwards Brock McGinn and Phil Di Giuseppe. It's the first NHL recall for Di Giuseppe, who has 14 points (6g, 8a) in 20 games; McGinn (twelve games) and Slavin (six games) made their debuts earlier this season (team press release detailing the moves is attached below).
  • As a result of the roster moves, and with James Wisniewski and Nathan Gerbe on injured reserve, the roster is at its maximum of 23 active players, allowing for flexibility heading into back-to-back home games this weekend followed by a four-game road trip that takes the team to the west coast. As to how this manifests itself into lineup changes heading into tonight's matchup against the Montreal Canadiens, that should become more clear after the morning skate.
  • Speaking of the Canadiens, they are perched on top of the Eastern Conference and only one point behind the Dallas Stars for best record in the NHL. They are elite (ranked in the NHL's top five) in almost all aspects of the game: goal-scoring, puck possession, team defense, special teams, and goaltending. Despite losing reigning Hart trophy winner Carey Price in net through at least early 2016, 25-year-old undrafted rookie Mike Condon has held the fort with a very respectable 9-3-3 overall record and is 2-1-1 since Price went down to injury. Max Pacioretty (13g, 12a) and Tomas Plekanec (7g, 18a) are tied for tops in points with 25, and Pacioretty leads the team with 13 goals. P.K. Subban leads the team in assists with 20. Alex Galchenyuk has six points (4g, 2a) in his last five games.
  • The Canadiens come into tonight's game with a loss Thursday night at the hands of the Capitals. They practiced yesterday before traveling to Raleigh, but there were no reports as to any lineup changes (and they aren't skating this morning). Former Hurricane and current Canadien Alexander Semin is not expected to be in the lineup tonight. Semin, whose contract was bought out by the Canes over the summer, has been a healthy scratch for the Canadiens for a good part of the season, and is currently out of the lineup with a lower body injury.
  • The Canadiens have owned the recent series against the Canes, going 3-0-0 last season and outscoring the Canes by an 11-2 score. Pacioretty had two goals and four assists (and is a point-per game player against the Canes with 17 points in as many games), Galchenyuk had three goals, and Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner were the lone goal scorers for the Canes.

Projected Lineups

Hurricanes (updated 10:50 am from morning skate)

Brock McGinn - Eric Staal - Elias Lindholm
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Phillip Di Giuseppe
Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Andrej Nestrasil
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Chris Terry

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

Cam Ward
Eddie Lack

Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (IR ACL), Nathan Gerbe (ankle), Michal Jordan (healthy), Kris Versteeg, Riley Nash

Canadiens (from Thursday's game)

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Dale Weise
Lars Eller - Alex Galchenyuk - Sven Andrighetto
Tomas Fleischmann - Tomas Plekanec - Paul Byron
Devante Smith-Pelly - Brian Flynn - Christian Thomas

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban
Nathan Beaulieu - Jeff Petry
Alexei Emelin - Tom Gilbert

Mike Condon
Zachary Fucale

Injuries and Scratches: Carey Price (IR lower body), Alexander Semin (IR lower body), Daniel Carr (healthy), Greg Pateryn (healthy), Jarred Tinordi (healthy)

Hurricanes Press Release on Roster Moves

RALEIGH, NCRon Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has recalled defenseman Jaccob Slavin (SLAY-vihn) and forwards Brock McGinn and Phil Di Giuseppe from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League. The Hurricanes have also reassigned defenseman Ryan Murphy to Charlotte.

Slavin, 21, has earned one assist in six games on the NHL level this season. The Erie, CO, native made his NHL debut for the Hurricanes on Nov. 20 against Toronto, and earned his first NHL point with an assist against the Rangers on Nov. 30. Slavin (6’2", 205 lbs.) is second among Charlotte defensemen with seven assists in 14 AHL games this season, and leads all Checkers skaters with a plus-6 plus/minus rating. The Hurricanes drafted Slavin in the fourth round, 120th overall, in the 2012 NHL Draft, and he is in his first professional season after playing two years of collegiate hockey at Colorado College.

McGinn, 21, earned two points in his NHL debut at Detroit on Oct. 16, and has totaled three points (2g, 1a) in 12 games in the NHL this season. The Fergus, Ont., native has netted six goals and added one assist (7 points) in 10 games with Charlotte this season, and has earned 34 points (21g, 13a) in 87 career AHL games. Prior to turning professional, McGinn totaled 172 points (93g, 79a) in 227 career Ontario Hockey League (OHL) games for Guelph between 2010 and 2014, helping the Storm reach the Memorial Cup championship game in 2014. McGinn (6’0", 185 lbs.) was Carolina’s second-round selection (47th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft.

This marks the first career NHL recall for Di Giuseppe, 22, who ranks second among Checkers skaters in scoring this season with 14 points (6g, 8a) in 20 games. The Maple, Ont., native is in his second full professional season, and has totaled 45 points (17g, 28a) in 99 career AHL games for Charlotte. Carolina’s second-round selection, 38th overall, in the 2012 NHL Draft, Di Giuseppe (6’0", 200 lbs.) earned 78 points (33g, 45a) in 115 career college games for the University of Michigan prior to turning professional.