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Hurricanes at Stars: Preview

The Canes begin a four-game road trip deep in the heart of Texas.

Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes at Dallas Stars
December 8, 2015 - 8:30 pm ET
American Airlines Center - Dallas, TX
Fox Sports Carolinas - 99.9 FM - WRALSportsFan app
SB Nation Rivals - Defending Big D

Vital Statistics

Hurricanes Stars
Record 10-13-4 20-5-2
Points 24 42
Division Rank 7th Metro 1st Central
Conference Rank 14th EC 1st WC
Last 10 Games 4-4-2 7-1-2
Streak Won 2 OT 1

Goals/Game 2.19 3.41
Goals Against/Game 2.96 2.56
ES Goals For % 41.9% 52.8%
Shots/Game 30.2 32.4
Shots Against/Game 25.7 28.8
ES Corsi For % 54.2% 52.7%
Faceoff % 54.7% 50.8%
ES PDO 96.2 100.1
Power Play % (Rank) 13.3% (29) 24.1% (3)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 76.1% (26) 82.5% (10)
PIM/Game 04:31 08:17

Goaltender #1 Ward Niemi
Record 9-8-3 10-4-2
ES Save % .905 .922
GAA 2.57 2.57

Goaltender #2 Lack Lehtonen
Record 1-5-1 10-1-0
ES Save % .875 .919
GAA 3.54 2.37

*Stats from and War on Ice

Game Notes

  • After wrapping up a home-heavy November schedule and three games at home to start December, the Hurricanes have embarked on a four-game coast-to-coast road trip. Their first stop is halfway across the country in Dallas, where they will wrap up a two-game season series tonight against the Stars. The Canes won 6-4 against the Stars in Dallas last season, it was their first win there since the team relocated to Raleigh.
  • A month ago the teams played here in Raleigh, and the Canes were able to keep things competitive against the best team in the NHL for the first 40 minutes before Dallas took over the third period with three goals to come away with a 4-1 win. Jordan Staal scored the lone goal for the Canes.
  • Not a lot has changed for the Stars since that last meeting; they have won nine of their 13 games played since then and remain atop the leaderboard in wins and points and lead the league in scoring. Jamie Benn leads the league in goals (18) and is tied for second along with linemate Tyler Seguin in total points (35) behind Patrick Kane (42). One area to watch for the Stars is their specials teams. They have not converted on the power play in the last four games (11 opportunities), but have been perfect on the penalty kill (9-for-9) over that same time period.
  • The Stars wrapped up three games in four nights with a 2-1 overtime loss to the Oilers Friday night. The players had the luxury of two full days off over the weekend and resumed practice yesterday. Jason Demers skated with the team but is still recovering from an upper body injury and won't be in the lineup tonight. Kari Lehtonen is expected to get the start in net.
  • The Hurricanes practiced yesterday at Raleigh Center Ice before flying to Dallas. Brock McGinn was returned to Charlotte after Sunday's game, so either Riley Nash or Chris Terry will draw back in on one of the forward lines today. Bill Peters indicated after practice that Cam Ward is expected to get the start in net today, though acknowledging Eddie Lack needed a chance to get on an extended run in the near future.
  • Ron Hainsey, Andrej Nestrasil, and Joakim Nordstrom all have points in each of the last two games.
  • Congratulations to Kris Versteeg. After sitting out Saturday as a healthy scratch and returning to tally a goal and assist on Sunday, he's scheduled to play in his 500th NHL career game tonight.

Projected Lineups

Hurricanes (updated 2:30 pm from Dallas media)

Kris Versteeg - 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
Michal Jordan

Cam Ward
Eddie Lack

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

Stars (updated 11:45 am from pre-game skate)

Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Valeri Nichushkin
Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Patrick Eaves
Patrick Sharp - Cody Eakin - Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel - Vernon Fiddler - Colton Sceviour

Alex Goligoski - John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya - Jordie Benn
Patrik Nemeth - Jamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen
Antti Niemi

Injuries and Scratches: Jason Demers (upper body), Travis Moen (healthy), Jyrki Jokipakka (healthy)

Storm Debris

  • Canes Gameday Hub [] and Stars preview []
  • Bill Peters post-practice media scrum [N&O]
  • Kris Versteeg responds to sitting out Saturday's game [Triangle Sports Net] [N&O]
  • The NHL Board of Governors is meeting this week, and with expansion on the agenda there's more speculation about the Hurricanes relocating, which has again been denied [NBC ProHockeyTalk]. Elliotte Friedman's conversation with Don Waddell is a must-read [SportsNet].
  • The Hurricanes are a great Corsi team. Does it matter? [Section 328]
  • Down Goes Brown says the Canes aren't that bad. Or are they? [ESPN]