|Division Rank||8th Metro||1st Metro|
|Conference Rank||14th EC||2nd EC|
|Streak||Lost 1||Lost 1|
|Power Play %||19.3%||17.4%|
|Penalty Kill %||85.1%||83.7%|
|ES Goals For %||43.1%||57.3%|
|ES Corsi For %||51.8%||50.3%|
|ES Save Percentage||.914||.932|
|ES Save Percentage||.903||.971|
- First things first: The Hurricanes are paying tribute to one of the best in the business tonight as they honor John Forslund's twenty years as the television voice of the franchise. The Canes will hold a pre-game ceremony, there will be player tributes featured on the videoboard throughout the game, and the first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive vouchers for a commemorative t-shirt. Hurricanes fans don't always agree on what happens on or off Canes ice, but most all agree that when it comes to the TV broadcast booth, there is none better than John Forslund. As a side note, for a little pre-ceremony treat, this feature on Forslund from Mike Sundheim (from the beginning of the season) is an terrific read. Don't miss it.
- Now about the game: Tonight the Canes begin a stand of five home games in eight days, and in doing so will attempt to thwart a season sweep by the best team in the Metro division. The Rangers have won all four games season-to-date. Three out of the four have been decided by one goal, with two going to a shootout and a third a 1-0 shutout.
- Coming off the 4-0 loss to the Canadiens Thursday night, the Canes held a brief practice yesterday but there were no updates to any line-up changes. Bill Peters mentioned in his post-practice comments that he expected to draw Riley Nash back into the line-up, but he was unsure who would come out. Nash has been a healthy scratch for the last three games.
- After suffering a lower-body injury in Tuesday's game, John-Michael Liles returned to practice after missing one game. His status for tonight is unknown. Cam Ward also practiced for the first time in several days, still recovering from illness. Ward has been well enough to serve in a back-up role to Anton Khudobin for the last three games, but appears to be a few days away from starting in net.
- As a point of reference, the Canes tragic number is now down to 3, so they could be officially eliminated from playoff contention as early as tonight, with a combination of three points either lost by the Canes or gained by the Bruins, who sit in the last wild card spot.
- The Rangers had a five-game winning streak snapped in a 1-0 shutout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night. They are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and are currently ranked fourth in the NHL in points but first in points per game played. They have won 15 of the last 16 games played against the Canes.
- Noted Canes killer Martin St. Louis won't be in the line-up tonight after suffering a lower-body injury in a game against the Panthers on Saturday night. To compensate for his absence, and to provide more balance, head coach Alain Vigneault changed up the forward lines at yesterday's practice (reflected below).
- Also missing from tonight's game is Henrik Lundqvist, who is still recovering from a vascular injury he suffered when he was struck in the neck by a puck in the game against the Canes on January 31st. Lundqvist was cleared to practice yesterday but was interrupted by the matter of the birth of his second child, so he did not travel with the team to Raleigh. Cam Talbot will get the start tonight, his twelfth in the last thirteen games.
- Both teams will skate at PNC Arena this morning, as part of a special event for Canes full season ticket holders. Chuck Kaiton and Kenny Albert (Rangers radio play-by-play voice) will be on hand to provide insight and commentary, so stay tuned for updates after the practices wrap up.
- Looking ahead from tonight's game, the Canes are holding their fourth annual Alumni Fantasy Game on Sunday afternoon, featuring 11 former Hurricanes players along with 20 paid participants. Nic Wallin, Sergei Samsonov, and Stu Grimson will be making their Alumni Game debuts. The game starts at 1:30 pm, and admission and parking are free. Proceeds from donations and silent auctions will support the Kids 'n Community Foundation. More details can be found here.
Hurricanes (from Thursday's game)
Injuries and Scratches: Jack Hillen (concussion), Rasmus Rissanen (MCL), John-Michael Liles (lower body), Riley Nash
Rangers (from Friday's practice):
Injuries and Scratches: Henrik Lundqvist (IR vascular injury), Kevin Klein (broken arm), Martin St. Louis (lower body)