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Game Day: Canes at Wild

#28 in the standings, #1 in your hearts. The Canes take on the Wild tonight in a Valentines Day match-up.

Carolina Hurricanes at Minnesota Wild
February 14, 2015 - 8:00 pm ET
Xcel Energy Center - Saint Paul, MN
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas
Radio - 99.9 FM The Fan
SB Nation Rival Blog - Hockey Wilderness

Fancy Stats

Hurricanes Wild
Record 19-27-7 27-20-7
Points 45 61
Division Rank 8th Metro 5th Central
Conference Rank 15th EC 9th WC
Streak Lost 1 Won 1

Power Play % 16.9% 16.1%
Penalty Kill % 87.3% 85.4%
Goals/Game 2.13 2.68
Goals Against/Game 2.57 2.67
Shots/Game 29.9 31.7
Shots Against/Game 27.9 26.9
ES Goals For % 42.7% 48.5%
ES Corsi For % 51.0% 51.8%
ES PDO 97.3 98.5
PIM/Game 7.3 9.8

Goaltender Ward Dubnyk*
Record 13-19-4 18-6-3
ES Save Percentage .912 .935
GAA 2.41 2.23

Goaltender Khudobin Kuemper
Record 6-8-3 13-12-2
ES Save Percentage .911 .908
GAA 2.55 2.62

Stats via and War on Ice
*Note, Dubnyk's stats include Arizona and Minnesota

Game Notes

  • The Canes have already wrapped up a number of the Western Conference match-ups for the season, but this is the first time they face the Wild, and they'll play again in Raleigh in a few weeks. The Wild won both games last season, with the Canes picking up a point in a shootout loss in Raleigh.
  • The Canes come into tonight's game off a 2-1 loss to the Ducks on Thursday night. They are 2-1-1 so far in February, and 9-4-3 since the calendar turned to 2015.
  • The team practiced yesterday before heading out to MSP, and Bill Peters said in his post-practice comments that he asked his players why they lost a game where they led in most statistical categories (face-offs, shots, special teams) but not on the scoresheet. The answers went back to a lack of sustained pressure in the offensive zone and creating traffic in front of the goaltender.
  • Peters mixed up the forward lines at Friday's practice, at one point separating the Staals so they both could operate from center. On defense, Ron Hainsey missed practice due to flu-like symptoms, but he is on the trip along with Michal Jordan, who was recalled from Charlotte.
  • With Cam Ward taking the loss in net on Thursday, Peters could turn back to Anton Khudobin to start tonight. If so it will be the first time Dobby has faced the team that drafted him in 2004 and gave him his NHL debut in 2010. Fans may recall that Khudobin got his first start against his other former team (the Bruins) on January 4th and that worked out pretty well as he was victorious in a shootout win.
  • The projected line-ups are posted from Thursday's game, but there will likely be several changes coming out of the morning skate, so stay tuned for updates.
  • By the way, also in yesterday's practice report (N&O), there are comments from GM Ron Francis about the trade deadline. He hopes to be 'fairly active'.
  • The Minnesota Wild's season has been a roller coaster of emotion between injuries, mumps, off-ice personal situations, coach drama, and highs and lows between the pipes. On January 14th the Wild were coming off a 7-2 loss to the Penguins, their star defenseman was facing a suspension, and they had dropped to 12th in the Western Conference, eight points out of a wild card spot, in desperate need of something to salvage their season. Enter unlikely hero Devan Dubnyk, who has brought them within two points of a playoff spot, starting in 12 straight games and going 9-1-1 with a 1.48 GAA and .943 save percentage.
  • Dubnyk may get a rest tonight, if so Darcy Kuemper will probably get the start over Niklas Backstrom.
  • The Wild ended a three-in-four game stretch with a 2-1 win against the Panthers on Thursday night, and didn't practice yesterday, so their projected line-up is based on Thursday's game.
  • Jason Pominville (12g, 29a) and Zach Parise (22g, 19a) lead the Wild in scoring with 41 points each. After going five games without a point, Pominville has scored goals in three straight games, and has 26 points in 32 career games against the Hurricanes. Captain Mikko Koivu has seven points (1g, 6a) in his last five games.

Projected line-ups

Hurricanes (from Thursday's game)

Eric Staal - Jordan Staal - Jiri Tlusty
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Nathan Gerbe - Andrej Nestrasil - Alexander Semin
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk
Tim Gleason - John-Michael Liles
Ron Hainsey - Brett Bellemore

Cam Ward
Anton Khudobin

Injuries and Scratches: Ryan Murphy (IR lower body), Chris Terry, Riley Nash

Wild (from Tuesday's game):

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Jason Pominville
Thomas Vanek - Mikael Granlund - Jordan Schroeder
Nino Niederreiter - Charlie Coyle - Justin Fontaine
Stephane Veilleux - Erik Haula - Kyle Brodziak

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella - Jared Spuregeon
Nate Prosser - Matt Dumba

Devan Dubnyk - Niklas Backstrom

Injuries and Scratches: Matt Cooke (IR sports hernia), Ryan Carter (IR shoulder), Keith Ballard (IR concussion), Jason Zucker (broken clavicle), Stu Bickel, Darcy Kuemper

For your clicking pleasure, enjoy some Valentines Day sentiments courtesy of the DucksBlackhawksPredatorsPenguinsLightning, and Flyers.

A few NHLers picked their ideal Valentines Day celebrity date. You may recognize a certain All-Star defenseman in this YouTube clip.

Finally, please join Canes Country in sending out a big Valentines Day birthday greeting to Hurricanes play-by-play announcer John Forslund. Hey hey whattaya say, there is none better in broadcasting today. Happy Birthday, John!