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Hurricanes at Bruins: Preview

Boston native Noah Hanifin makes his hometown debut as the Canes kick off a five game road trip with tonight's visit to TD Garden.

Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes at Boston Bruins
March 10, 2016 - 7:00 pm ET
TD Garden - Boston, MA
Fox Sports Carolinas - 99.9 FM - WRALSportsFan app
SB Nation Rival Blog - Stanley Cup of Chowder

Vital Statistics

Hurricanes Bruins
Record 30-26-11 38-23-7
Points 71 83
Division Rank 6 Metro 2 Atlantic
Conference Rank 10 EC 4 EC
Last 10 Games 4-5-1 7-2-1
Streak Won 1 Won 2

Goals/Game 2.45 3.00
Goals Against/Game 2.66 2.69
ES Goals For % 46.4% 52.5%
Shots/Game 30.2 31.4
Shots Against/Game 26.8 31.2
ES Corsi For % 52.4% 48.3%
Faceoff % 53.9% 50.1%
ES PDO 98.3 100.9
Power Play % (Rank) 17.2% (23) 20.9% (9)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 83.1% (8) 82.4% (9)
PIM/Game 06:38 11:49

Goaltender #1 Ward Rask
Record 19-15-7 27-18-6
ES Save % .914 .926
GAA 2.44 2.53

Goaltender #2 Lack Gustavson
Record 11-11-4 11-5-1
ES Save % .907 .924
GAA 2.66 2.54

*Stats from and War on Ice

Game Notes

  • With 30 wins and 71 points, the Carolina Hurricanes have already matched their 2014-15 season record with 15 games remaining. After a dramatic come-from-behind shootout win against the Senators Tuesday (wait is that for real?), the Canes find themselves four points out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Though the odds of jumping two teams at this stage are slim, the Canes have picked up five points in their last six games. They will have to keep up that pace with a schedule that puts them on the road for nine games to close out the season, starting tonight in Boston.
  • All eyes tonight will be on Boston native and Boston College standout Noah Hanifin as the rookie defenseman makes his debut at The Gahden in front of a small army of family and friends. Hanifin is one of only three active players in the NHL from his 2015 draft class and the only defenseman. He also happens to be a point-per-game player against his hometown team, scoring the lone goal for the Canes in a 4-1 loss to the Bruins in Raleigh on Feb. 26.
  • Head coach Bill Peters will roll with the same forward lines and defensive pairings that have been in place since the trade deadline, though he hasn't reported a starting goaltender. Cam Ward is 12-15-3 with a 2.72 GAA and three shutouts in 30 career regular season appearances against the Bruins, and Eddie Lack is 1-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA in one appearance.
  • Jeff Skinner has been red hot since the trade deadline, with four goals and two assists in the last four games including Tuesday's buzzer-beater to force overtime. Victor Rask, Phil DiGiuseppe, and Ryan Murphy have points in two straight games. In addition to his game-deciding snipe in Tuesday's shootout, rookie defenseman Jaccob Slavin has logged over 25 minutes TOI in four of his last six games, and leads the team with 24:16 TOI/game since Justin Faulk's injury on Feb. 11.
  • The Boston Bruins return home after a two-game sweep in Florida in back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday. They are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and 4-0-1 since the trade deadline, their only loss coming in overtime against the Capitals, and are tied with the Lightning at the top of the Atlantic division standings.
  • The Bruins made two trades at the deadline that weren't splashy but effective. To bolster their forward ranks they acquired Lee Stempniak, who was the Devils leading scorer, and he made an early impact, scoring the overtime game winner against the Panthers Monday night. He improves an already potent Bruins top line with Patrice Bergeron, who leads the team in points (60), and Brad Marchand, who leads the team and is ranked third in the NHL in goals scored (34)
  • Hitting a bit closer to home, former Hurricane John-Michael Liles is providing solid puck possession and puck movement on a second pairing with [also a former Cane] Dennis Seidenberg. There's a chance Liles won't be in tonight's lineup, however, as he has a hearing later today with the Department of Player Safety after an illegal elbow to the head against Nikita Kucherov in Tuesday's game against the Lightning.
  • Tuukka Rask is expected to get the start in net tonight for the Bruins; his record is 7-3-1 with a 1.89 GAA in 12 career games against the Canes.

Projected Lineups

Hurricanes (3/9 practice)

Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Phillip Di Giuseppe
Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Brad Malone
Brendan Woods - Jay McClement - Chris Terry

Jaccob Slavin - Ron Hainsey
Noah Hanifin - Brett Pesce
Michal Jordan - Ryan Murphy

Cam Ward
Eddie Lack

Injuries and scratches: James Wisniewski (IR ACL), Justin Faulk (lower body), Andrej Nestrasil (fractured vertebra)

Bruins (vs Lightning 3/8)

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Lee Stempniak
Loui Eriksson - David Krejci - Brett Connolly
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Spooner - Jimmy Hayes
Landon Ferraro - Noel Acciari - David Pastrnak
Tyler Randell

Zdeno Chara - Adam McQuaid
John-Michael Liles - Dennis Seidenberg
Torey Krug - Zach Trotman
Joe Morrow

Tuukka Rask
Jonas Gustavson

Injuries and scratches: Chris Kelly (IR broken femur), Kevan Miller (upper body)

Storm Debris

  • Canes Gameday Hub [].
  • Post-practice media scrum 3/9 [Bill Peters] [Noah Hanifin].
  • Must read from Chip Alexander: Hanifin plays against his old favorite, the Bruins [N&O].
  • 'Slavs' comes through for the Canes with a shootout winner that surprised everyone except the coaching staff [N&O].
  • UNH's Poturalski chose the Canes, and he reflects on his decision to turn pro []
  • Lee Stempniak, John-Michael Liles fit in quickly [Causeway Crowd].
  • Scroll down to the middle of this article (fist part is about the trade deadline) for a good discussion with John-Michael Liles about the differences between the Canes and Bruins defensive systems [Boston Globe].
  • Dan Rosen weighs in with his thoughts on the Bruins surprising success (and also a very interesting assessment of Eric Staal's role with the Rangers) in his NHL mailbag [].
  • How that little weasel Brad Marchand turned into a goal-scoring machine [CBS Sports].