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Hurricanes at Maple Leafs: Preview

After a much-needed game break, the Canes get some key players back and deal with the loss of another as they head to Toronto to take on the Leafs. Plus links to lots of great Canes news and features; the Bill Peters interview with Marek vs. Wyshynski is a must-listen.

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes at Toronto Maple Leafs
January 21, 2016 - 7:30 pm ET
Air Canada Centre - Toronto, ON
Fox Sports Southeast - 99.9 FM - WRALSportsFan app
SB Nation Rivals - Pension Plan Puppets

Vital Statistics

Hurricanes Maple Leafs
Record 20-19-8 17-20-7
Points 48 41
Division Rank 7th Metro 8th Atlantic
Conference Rank 13th EC 15th EC
Last 10 Games 5-2-3 4-6-0
Streak Lost 1 Won 1

Goals/Game 2.36 2.43
Goals Against/Game 2.72 2.73
ES Goals For % 45.3% 46.9%
Shots/Game 29.5 31.3
Shots Against/Game 26.1 31.3
ES Corsi For % 53.2% 50.0%
Faceoff % 53.7% 51.2%
ES PDO 97.9 99.5
Power Play % (Rank) 17.4% (22) 16.5% (25)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 80.8% (13) 79.7% (18)
PIM/Game 06:28 08:30

Goaltender #1 Ward Reimer
Record 14-11-5 8-7-4
ES Save % .911 .950
GAA 2.42 2.03

Goaltender #2 Lack Bernier
Record 6-8-3 6-12-3
ES Save % .899 .905
GAA 3.97 3.13

*Stats from and War on Ice

Game Notes

  • After a much needed three-day break, the Hurricanes return to action tonight against the Maple Leafs. Tonight's game will wrap up their travel schedule for a while as they'll play the next three games at home heading into the All-Star break. It is also the front end of their 12th set of back-to-back games this season.
  • The Canes and Leafs have met once already, a low-scoring affair on Nov. 20 in Raleigh that required a shootout to settle; the Canes only shootout appearance this season and unfortunately they were on the wrong end of the 2-1 loss. Tonight's game is the second in a three-game season series. The Canes swept the series with the Leafs last year with a 3-0-0 record and haven't lost a season series since 2006-07.
  • The Leafs are in the cellar of the Atlantic division, well outside the pack of six teams (including the Canes) within three points of the last wild card spot. They snapped a five-game losing streak with a 3-2 win against the Flyers on Tuesday night. Roman Polak, Joffrey Lupul, and Matt Hunwick scored for the Leafs, and James Reimer made 32 saves. Reimer will get the start in net again tonight. He currently holds one of the NHL's best overall save percentages (.934) and has a 5-3-1 career record against the Canes with a 2.25 GAA and one shutout including the win in November.
  • Leo Komarov leads the Leafs in goals (16) and points (30), and Tyler Bozak has a team-leading 20 assists.
  • With the break between games the Canes received very welcome news on the injury front, with two young but effective rookies making their return to the lineup. Philllip Di Giuseppe is back after missing eight games with a concussion and a conditioning assignment. He'll return to balance a line with Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner that was on fire prior to his injury. Brett Pesce also returns after missing two games with a lower body injury, reuniting the Red, White, and Blueline.
  • On the flip side, the team learned yesterday that Cam Ward is sidelined with a concussion of indeterminate origin, presumably initiated by bumps he took during games against the Penguins and Canucks going back to last week. Eddie Lack will get his chance to claim the spotlight in Cam's absence, with Daniel Altshuller recalled from Charlotte to back him up in his first NHL appearance. Lack has one prior start against the Leafs, a win in Vancouver on March 14, 2015.
  • Note the broadcast change, tonight's game will be aired on Fox Sports Southeast.
  • Editorial note, there's a ton of great material to click and read/watch/listen, so make sure you check out the links in Storm Debris and catch up on all of it if you haven't already.

Projected Lineups

Hurricanes (1/20 practice)

Kris Versteeg - Eric Staal - Elias Lindholm
Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Andrej Nestrasil
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Phillip Di Giuseppe
Nathan Gerbe - Jay McClement - Riley Nash

Ron Hainsey - Justin Faulk 
John-Michael Liles - Brett Pesce
Noah Hanifin - Jaccob Slavin

Eddie Lack
Daniel Altshuller

Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (IR ACL), Cam Ward (IR concussion), Brad Malone (healthy), Chris Terry (healthy), Michal Jordan (healthy)

Maple Leafs (1/19 vs Flyers)

Michael Grabner - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov
Shawn Matthias - Tyler Bozak - Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
Joffrey Lupul - Peter Holland - Brad Boyes
Daniel Winnik - Byron Froese - Rich Clune
Josh Leivo

Jake Gardiner - Dion Phaneuf
Matt Hunwick - Morgan Rielly
Martin Marincin - Roman Polak
Frank Corrado

James Reimer
Jonathan Bernier

Injuries and Scratches: Nick Spaling (IR upper body), Stephane Robidas (IR knee), James van Riemsdyk (broken foot)

Storm Debris

  • Canes Gameday hub [].
  • Bill Peters post-practice media scrum 1/20 [].
  • Mike Babcock post-practice media scrum 1/20 [Leafs TV].
  • Bill Peters spent Tuesday on Marek vs. Wyshynski talking about the success of team defense, Jeff Skinner, Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, Eric Staal, why he rolls two defensemen in 3-on-3 overtime, and the art of the line change. This is a MUST LISTEN [SportsNet].
  • Ron Francis joined Adam and Joe Wednesday night to discuss the challenges leading up to the trade deadline [WRALSportsFan].
  • Noah Hanifin is making an impact; the defenseman gives his impressions on the first half of his rookie season [].
  • Update on the Cup celebration weekend and how you can watch the Panthers #keeppounding Sunday night after the Canes take on the Flames in this week's Tweetmail [].
  • Defense First: The Surprising, Suppressing 2016 Hurricanes (another must read) [Section 328].
  • Addressing the Hurricanes' unstable goaltending situation [Today's SlapShot].
  • ICYMI, Morton's Microscope on why Jeff Skinner is good even when he's streaky [Canes Country].
  • How the Canes transformed their prospect pool (mailbag) [Canes and Coffee].
  • Neither coach nor player, former Hurricane Tim Gleason now fills a new role [N&O].
  • Last but not least, you might recognize 50% of this list: