|Division Rank||6th Metro||3rd Central|
|Conference Rank||12th EC||4th WC|
|Last 10 Games||6-2-2||4-3-3|
|Streak||Won 3||Won 2|
|ES Goals For %||45.9%||51.4%|
|ES Corsi For %||53.0%||52.3%|
|Power Play % (Rank)||17.2% (26)||21.7% (5)|
|Penalty Kill % (Rank)||80.2% (16)||85.9% (3)|
|ES Save %||.913||.926|
|ES Save %||.899||.931|
*Stats from NHL.com and War on Ice
- I'd like to begin today's preview by thanking the New Jersey Devils for losing 5-2 to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night and for relieving the Hurricanes of the following obligations:
* Earning Ken Hitchcock his 200th career win as Blues coach
* Granting Ty Rattie his first career NHL goal
* Handing the Blues their first regulation win in three weeks
- The Canes (and their dads, it's the annual fathers trip with the team) are in the Show Me state for their first tilt of the season against the Blues. The Blues swept the two-game series last season, but it took shootouts to decide both.
- Speaking of extra innings, the Canes have played in overtime 12 times so far this season, tying them with the Blackhawks for most overtime games played. Their record is an even 6-6, with only one game not settled during the overtime period and requiring a shootout (a loss to Leafs on Nov. 20). Out of the six games played in January, four have gone to overtime, and the Canes have a 2-2 record in those games including their last two wins.
- This trip also begins the 11th of 16 sets of back-to-back games the Canes will play this season. So far they are 7-3-0 in the front half of their back-to-back games and 7-2-1 in the back half.
- The Blues are currently sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference and for the moment have a firm hold on third place in the very tough Central division. A recent slew of injuries has left their roster depleted, but their depth has served them well. Patrik Berglund recently returned from offseason surgery and has three goals in the six games he has played. Paul Stastny, who missed two games after taking a puck to the face, practiced with the team yesterday and could be available to play tonight. Update 1:00 pm: Stastny, a point-per-game player against the Canes, will be back in the lineup. David Backes did not practice with the team but is expected to play; Ty Rattie will be the healthy extra.
- Though they've scored on the power play in each of their last three games, the Canes will be well-served to stay out of the penalty box tonight; the Blues rank among the league's top five in both special teams categories.
- Vladimir Tarasenko leads the Blues in goals (24) and points (44) and is in the NHL's top five in both categories. Alexander Steen leads the team in assists (26). Defenseman Colton Parayko leads all rookie defensemen this season with 17 points (6g, 11a).
- Brian Elliott, in for his third consecutive start in net in relief of the injured Jake Allen, has a .932 save percentage in his last three games and has a 6-4-0 record with a 2.68 GAA against the Canes in 12 career games. Jordan Binnington, recalled from the AHL Chicago Wolves, will back up Elliott tonight and does not have an NHL start in his career.
- The Canes come into tonight's game with a three-game winning streak (their first since late October) and with a points percentage over .500 for the first time since 2013-14. After missing two games with an upper body injury, Victor Rask returned to the lineup, and both Nathan Gerbe and Phillip Di Giuseppe are traveling with the team and could be cleared to play soon. Brett Pesce did not practice yesterday and was reported to be dealing with a lower body injury from Tuesday's game, but is probable to be in the lineup today. Bill Peters hasn't named a starting goaltender. Update 1:00 pm: Eddie Lack, who is 5-0-0 career against the Blues with a 1.74 GAA, will be tonight's starter. No other changes to the Canes lineup.
- The Hurricanes top forward line of Eric Staal (1g, 3a), Elias Lindholm (2g, 4a), and Kris Versteeg (2g, 3a) is firing on all cylinders, with each player collecting points in three consecutive games.
Hurricanes (1/14 practice)
Kris Versteeg - Eric Staal - Elias Lindholm
Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Andrej Nestrasil
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Brock McGinn
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Riley Nash
Ron Hainsey - Justin Faulk
John-Michael Liles - Brett Pesce
Noah Hanifin - Jaccob Slavin
Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (IR ACL), Nathan Gerbe (IR ankle), Phillip Di Giuseppe (concussion), Chris Terry (healthy), Michal Jordan (healthy)
Blues (1/14 practice)
Robby Fabbri - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexander Steen - Paul Stastny - Troy Brouwer
Patrik Berglund - David Backes - Scottie Upshall
Dmitrij Jaskin - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves
Kevin Shattenkirk - Alex Pietrangelo
Chris Butler - Colton Parayko
Joel Edmundson - Robert Bortuzzo
Injuries and Scratches: Paul Stastny (upper body), Magnus Paajarvi (upper body), Jay Bouwmeester, Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Carl Gunnarsson (upper body), Steve Ott (hamstring), Jake Allen (lower body), Ty Rattie (healthy)
- Canes Gameday Hub [CH.com].
- The Canes fathers and sons team up for their annual trip (running blog) [CH.com].
- Justin Faulk is headed back to the All-Star Game [CH.com] and how he got to this point in his career is a story worth telling (editorial note this is an essential read, it's outstanding) [SI.com].
- Rod Brind'Amour made the rounds on WRAL Sports radio yesterday. He talked about his NC Hall of Fame honor [Buzz Morning Show] and the next steps to get the team past .500 [Adam and Joe].
- The Canes are taking advantage of the new 3-on-3 overtime format [N&O].
- Travis Yost says keep an eye on the Hurricanes with a young defense performing well above expectations [TSN].
- TSN handicaps the NHL awards based on the first half of the season, and a couple of Canes show up here [TSN].
- Well, no locals won the Powerball last night, but if you did win, here are the NHL teams you could afford to buy with your winnings [USA Today].