|Division Rank||8th Metro||3rd Central|
|Conference Rank||14th EC||4th WC|
|Streak||Won 3||Lost 1|
|Power Play %||18.9%||18.1%|
|Penalty Kill %||88.2%||85.6%|
|ES Goals For %||43.1%||52.7%|
|ES Corsi For %||51.5%||53.8%|
|ES Save Percentage||.913||.923|
|ES Save Percentage||.906||.939|
- The Canes take the ice tonight for the first time this season against the Chicago Blackhawks. Last season they were defeated in regulation in Chicago and lost in a shootout in Raleigh for a 0-1-1 record. The Canes haven't won in Chicago since 2008, although they've only played three games there since then. They'll face each other in Raleigh again in a couple of weeks.
- Lots of momentum and really nothing to lose at this point in the season for the Canes, as they come into tonight's game winners of three straight against Metro Division playoff contenders. Their record since January 1st is an impressive 14-7-3, a 106-point pace. Unfortunately, the record prior to 2015 was so bad that a good run isn't enough to push them into playoff contention.
- Nonetheless, there are certainly recognizable improvements, especially on special teams. The Canes are still killing penalties at a torrid pace, best in the league and putting space between the competition. Perhaps just as noteworthy, the power play has improved significantly in the last month. When February started the Canes were converting power plays at a 16.6% clip, good enough to rank 24th in the league, today they are at 18.9% which is good enough to squeak them into the top ten.
- No changes to the Canes line-up for tonight, Bill Peters is going with the same group from Saturday, including Cam Ward in net.
- In case you missed it with all the trade headlines and site issues, Rasmus Rissanen has been recalled from the Checkers. He won't make it for tonight's game, but Peters says he expects him to be up for the rest of the season. It's the first call-up for Rissanen. From the press release:
RALEIGH, NC - Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the Hurricanes have recalled defenseman Rasmus Rissanen (RAS-muss RIHS-ah-nehn) from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Rissanen, 23, has netted one goal and added 10 assists (11 points) in 52 games for Charlotte this season. The Kuopio, Finland, native has totaled 36 points (7g, 29a) and 301 penalty minutes in 240 career AHL games with the Checkers. Selected by the Hurricanes in the sixth round, 178th overall, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Rissanen played two seasons of junior hockey for Everett of the Western Hockey League (WHL) prior to turning professional. He has represented Finland in several international tournaments, including the 2008 U-18 World Junior Championship and the 2011 World Junior Championship.
- Ryan Murphy skated with the team today and more will be known on his return later in the week.
- Jeff Skinner has points in four straight games, and Justin Faulk has points in three straight.
- Happy Birthday to Jay McClement, who celebrates with a two-goal game and a two-year contract extension.
- The Blackhawks are 'all-in' on their playoff run. They are currently third in the Central Division, three points ahead of the Jets. They've been idle on the ice since back-to-back games in Florida on Thursday and Friday, shutting out the Panthers 3-0 on Thursday night before suffering a 4-0 shutout loss to the Lightning on Friday.
- The Hawks have not been idle off the ice, active at the trade deadline after losing key cogs in their lineup. Leading scorer (also leading the NHL at the time) Patrick Kane will miss significant time with a broken clavicle, and Johnny Oduya has an upper body concern that will keep him off the ice for a couple of weeks. So Kimmo Timonen was acquired from the Flyers on Friday, Antoine Vermette was acquired from the Coyotes on Saturday, Tim Erixon was placed on waivers yesterday and claimed by Toronto, and earlier today Ben Smith was traded to the San Jose Sharks for Andrew Desjardins.
- Vermette and Timonen have already practiced with their new club and are expected to be in the line-up tonight. Marian Hossa didn't skate with the team this morning but is also expected to play. The Hawks projected line-up is a bit of a guess based on a combination of their line-up on Friday and today's practice, with the trade acquisitions mixed in.
Hurricanes (from today's practice)
Injuries and Scratches: Ryan Murphy (IR leg), Patrick Dwyer, Rasmus Rissanen (recall)
Blackhawks (from today's practice):