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Hurricanes at Canucks: Preview

Eddie Lack returns to Vancouver to face his former team tonight.

Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes at Vancouver Canucks
January 6, 2016 - 10:00 pm ET
Rogers Arena - Vancouver, BC
Fox Sports Carolinas - 99.9 FM - WRALSportsFan app
SB Nation Rivals - Nucks Misconduct

Vital Statistics

Hurricanes Canucks
Record 16-17-7 15-16-9
Points 39 39
Division Rank 7th Metro 5th Pacific
Conference Rank 13th EC 12th WC
Last 10 Games 4-3-3 4-5-1
Streak OT 2 Lost 1

Goals/Game 2.30 2.35
Goals Against/Game 2.75 2.78
ES Goals For % 45.2% 48.0%
Shots/Game 29.8 29.4
Shots Against/Game 26.1 30.7
ES Corsi For % 53.4% 47.8%
Faceoff % 53.1% 45.3%
ES PDO 97.6 99.7
Power Play % (Rank) 16.5% (26) 16.5% (26)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 79.3% (21) 78.5% (24)
PIM/Game 06:09 11:39

Goaltender #1 Ward Miller
Record 11-11-4 10-11-6
ES Save % .908 .922
GAA 2.45 2.74

Goaltender #2 Lack Markstrom
Record 5-6-3 4-5-3
ES Save % .900 .933
GAA 2.96 2.49

*Stats from and War on Ice

Game Notes

  • Through 40 games the Carolina Hurricanes and Vancouver Canucks are tied in the NHL standings with 39 points each. For the Canucks, that's good enough to land them one point out of third place in the Pacific division even though they are ranked 12th in the Western Conference; for the Canes, it's five points (and four teams to jump) out of the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
  • The Canucks swept the two-game series with the Canes last season, and have won 11 out of the last 13 meetings. The Canes haven't won in Vancouver since Oct. 15, 1999.
  • On April 6, 2010, the Canucks took a chance on an undrafted 22-year-old Swedish netminder, and Eddie Lack played for five seasons as a member of the Canucks organization; three in their minor league system and two with the NHL club. He was part of the Canucks reserve squad during their run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011, and back-stopped them into the 2015 playoffs last season, winning his first playoff game on April 17. In 82 career appearances with Vancouver, Lack posted a 34-30-6 record with a 2.43 GAA and .917 save percentage. Today he makes an emotional return to face his former team for the first time since being traded to the Hurricanes on June 27. After a rocky start to his tenure with his new team, Eddie is 4-0-2 in his last six starts (going back to Dec. 11, 2015) with a .923 save percentage and wins against the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals.
  • The Canes are coming off a frustrating 1-0 overtime loss Monday to the Edmonton Oilers where they couldn't break through to find the back of the net. After a productive December in terms of improved offense, they have only scored one goal in their first two games in January. They've been good enough defensively to limit their opponents and grab two points by forcing consecutive overtime situations. On special teams, they have gone seven games without a power play goal; on the flip side, they have killed off 21 consecutive penalties.
  • The team practiced yesterday but no report was made available, and today's practice will be optional at 11:30 am PT (2:30 pm ET) with media availability to follow.
  • As previously mentioned, the Canucks are in the fight to stay relevant in the playoff chase, but team health has conspired against them. Starting goaltender Ryan Miller is out with a groin injury, Luca Sbisa is dealing with a lingering hand injury, Dan Hamhuis is recovering from a facial surgery after a very serious injury from a puck hit, and former Hurricane Brandon Sutter is recovering from sports hernia surgery. On the positive side, Sven Baertschi is expected to return tonight after missing two games with a neck injury. Alex Edler missed yesterday's practice due to illness so his status is uncertain heading into tonight's contest.
  • The Canucks received another injury scare Monday against the Arizona Coyotes, when Daniel Sedin took a puck to the face, a hit severe enough to violently knock out several of his teeth. Sedin was fortunate to be able to return to the game, scoring a goal in a 3-2 loss. He currently leads the Canucks in goals (17) and points (38), followed by brother Henrik Sedin with 34 points and a team-leading 25 assists. Bo Horvat scored a power play goal in Monday's game, breaking an 0-for-20 slump that dated back to Dec. 13.
  • With Ryan Miller out of the lineup, Jacob Markstrom has started in five straight games and has a 3-2-0 record. Joe Cannata is backing up Markstrom but has yet to make his NHL debut.
  • Statistically the Canes and Canucks are similar in many areas, but they are polar opposites in the faceoff circle (first vs. 30th), shots against (first vs. 23rd), and penalty minutes (first vs. 24th).

Projected Lineups

Hurricanes (1/4 vs Oilers)

Kris Versteeg - Eric Staal - Elias Lindholm
Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Andrej Nestrasil
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Brock McGinn
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Riley Nash
Chris Terry

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

Eddie Lack
Cam Ward

Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (IR ACL), Nathan Gerbe (IR ankle), Phillip Di Giuseppe (concussion)

Canucks (1/5 practice)

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jannik Hansen
Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Radim Vrbata
Alexandre Burrows - Jared McCann - Derek Dorsett
Brandon Prust - Adam Cracknell - Chris Higgins
Linden Vey

Alexander Edler - Christopher Tanev
Alex Biega - Yannik Weber
Ben Hutton - Matt Bartkowski
Andrey Pedan

Jacob Markstrom
Joe Cannata

Injuries and Scratches: Brandon Sutter (IR sports hernia surgery), Dan Hamhuis (IR facial surgery), Luca Sbisa (IR hand), Ryan Miller (IR groin), Jake Virtanen (loan WJC)

Storm Debris

  • Canes Gameday Hub [].
  • Eddie Lack interview from Tuesday's practice [].
  • A more mature Eddie Lack is back in town [Vancouver Sun] and back to basics [The Province], and says his trade from Vancouver was 'just business' [Brandon Sun (repeated on] and he's looking forward to playing his former team [N&O].
  • John Forslund hosted a reddit AMA yesterday and he was pretty awesome [reddit].
  • The Canes are positioned for a playoff push. Seriously [WRALSportsFan].
  • Section 328 previews the Canucks with Harrison Mooney (Pass It To Bulis) and the Blue Jackets with Buckeye State Hockey on their Cheaters Never Win Podcast [Section 328].
  • The Vancouver Canucks literally can't even (2016 resolutions) [Pass It To Bulis].
  • The Sedins again prove their toughness (takeaways from Monday's game) [Metro News].
  • Former Hurricane Andrej Sekera symbolizes the Oilers improved defensive play [Edmonton Journal].
  • Elliotte Friedman's 30 thoughts expounds on the Drouin situation, and mentions John-Michael Liles as a potential trade deadline rental [SportsNet].
  • Take a look inside the Charlotte Checkers record-breaking 10-game points streak [].
  • The ECHL is a valuable part of the NHL development pipeline [InGoalMag].