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Hurricanes vs. Blues: Preview

Jeff Skinner is expected to play in his 400th career NHL game as the Canes look to sweep the season series against the Blues this afternoon.

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Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes vs St. Louis Blues
February 28, 2016 - 3:00 pm ET
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
Fox Sports Carolinas - 99.9 FM - WRALSportsFan app
SB Nation Rival Blog - St. Louis Game Time

Vital Statistics

Hurricanes Blues
Record 28-25-10 35-20-9
Points 66 79
Division Rank 7 Metro 3 Central
Conference Rank 11 EC 3 WC
Last 10 Games 4-4-2 6-3-1
Streak Lost 2 Lost 3

Goals/Game 2.43 2.41
Goals Against/Game 2.62 2.39
ES Goals For % 47.0% 50.8%
Shots/Game 30.3 29.4
Shots Against/Game 26.5 29.7
ES Corsi For % 52.7% 51.4%
Faceoff % 53.8% 51.0%
ES PDO 98.4 99.7
Power Play % (Rank) 17.1% (25) 21.4% (7)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 82.2% (11) 86.4% (3)
PIM/Game 06:36 10:31

Goaltender #1 Ward Allen
Record 18-14-7 18-13-3
ES Save % .916 .922
GAA 2.37 2.25

Goaltender #2 Lack Elliott (IR)
Record 10-11-3 17-7-6
ES Save % .907 .936
GAA 2.68 2.14

*Stats from and War on Ice

Game Notes

  • One day away from the trade deadline. With multiple pending unrestricted free agents, and with only a glimmer of hope left for a post-season, chances are the Carolina Hurricanes roster will look different by 3:00 pm Monday, perhaps even before this afternoon's matinee against the St. Louis Blues.
  • Starting on a positive note, Jeff Skinner is expected to play in his 400th career NHL game today. Drafted seventh in the 2010 entry draft, Skinner made the 2010-11 Canes roster out of training camp and wowed fans with his ebullient personality as well as his creativity and skill, scoring 31 goals and becoming the youngest player in NHL history to earn a Calder trophy. He ranks eighth all-time among Hurricanes skaters in points (251), fifth in goals (136), and third in hat tricks (4), and he holds the team lead this season in goals (21).
  • On a not-so-positive note, Friday's 4-1 loss to the Bruins marked the first time the Canes have failed to earn a point in two consecutive games since Dec. 3. Further, it dropped them far enough from the playoff cut line that a recovery is near impossible at this stage. At 66 points, and on pace for 89 points, the Canes are four points out of the wild card spot with three teams to jump to get there and on the wrong side of games played.
  • Today the Canes will look to complete a season sweep of the Blues, who they defeated in St. Louis on Jan. 14 in an excellent effort in front of family on the team's annual Father's trip. Skinner won first star honors with a goal, and Eddie Lack made 23 saves to improve his career record against the Blues to 6-0-0 (which leaves one to wonder why his dad was so #shitlessnervous at the time). Following Friday's loss, the Canes took a rest day yesterday and won't skate this morning with the early game time, so there are no updates as far as lineup changes or injuries are concerned. If any news is made available, we'll pass it along.
  • The Canes are wearing their alternate jerseys today and sport a 7-0-3 record this season when they are back in black.
  • The Blues always play a tough, physical game, but they will probably be extra salty today after suffering a 5-0 shutout loss to the Predators in Nashville yesterday. It was the first time this season that the Blues have lost three games in a row in regulation. Despite that, they are in a solid third spot in the Central division, six points ahead of their closest rival, and have a better record than any team in the Pacific division.
  • The Blues have been plagued by injury issues all season, and haven't won since losing forward Alexander Steen to an upper body injury on Feb. 20. Steen is second on the team in points (47) and leads the team with 30 assists (Vladimir Tarasenko leads the Blues with 29 goals and 54 points). Jori Lehtera has missed two games after being hit in the face with a puck, and just as netminder Jake Allen was returning to the lineup, the team lost Brian Elliott to a lower body injury. If injuries weren't concern enough, Ryan Reaves will miss today's game due to a three-game suspension. On the bright side, Alex Pietrangelo was activated from injured reserve yesterday and is expected to return today after missing nine games with a knee injury.
  • Yesterday the Blues traded goaltending prospect Niklas Lundstrom and a 2016 fifth round draft pick to the Oilers in exchange for Anders Nilsson. Nilsson is expected to back up Jake Allen today, who made 19 saves on 23 shots in yesterday's game before being relieved by Pheonix Copley, who was reassigned to the Chicago Wolves after the game. Allen has a 2-0-0 record against the Canes with a 1.54 GAA.

Projected Lineups

Hurricanes (vs Bruins 2/26)

Eric Staal - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Chris Terry
Jeff Skinner - Riley Nash- Kris Versteeg
Nathan Gerbe - Brad Malone - Phillip Di Giuseppe

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

Cam Ward
Eddie Lack

Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (IR ACL), Justin Faulk (lower body), Andrej Nestrasil (lower body), Jay McClement (upper body)

Blues (vs Preds 2/27)

Jaden Schwartz - Patrik Berglund - Vladimir Tarasenko
Robby Fabbri - Paul Stastny - Troy Brouwer
Magnus Paajarvi - David Backes - Dmitrij Jaskin
Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Ty Rattie

Jay Bouwmeester - Kevin Shattenkirk
Carl Gunnarsson - Colton Parayko
Joel Edmundson - Robert Bortuzzo
Alex Pietrangelo

Jake Allen
Anders Nilsson

Injuries and Scratches: Alexander Steen (IR upper body), Steve Ott (IR hamstring), Jori Lehtera (upper body), Brian Elliott (LTIR lower body), Ryan Reaves (suspension)

Storm Debris

  • Canes Gameday Hub [].
  • Today the Canes are hosting Military Appreciation Day with promotions and activities throughout the game, including a South Plaza military display. Item donations are being accepted for the USO and anyone donating can register to win prizes including team and player signed memorabilia. []
  • Bill Peters has built a foundation for Canes' future success [N&O].
  • Former Boston College star Noah Hanifin progressing nicely in Carolina [NESN].
  • Marc Staal would love teaming up with brother Eric [].
  • Ever heard of Corb Denneny? Check out this awesome post to find out his Canes connection [HF Boards].
  • Here's a nice 2016 Trade Deadline Tracker that you can use to keep up to date on all the latest across the NHL [The Fourth Period].