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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Minnesota Wild Opening Night Preview and Storm Advisory

It’s opening night in Raleigh, and the Hurricanes look to fend off the Wild.

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Jamie Kellner

And we are back!

The Carolina Hurricanes are one of only three NHL teams yet to play their season opener, but that comes to an end tonight as the Minnesota Wild come to town.

Minnesota, led in part by a pair of 2006 Stanley Cup Champions in Eric Staal and Matt Cullen, got off on the wrong foot on Thursday, falling to the Detroit Red Wings in the inaugural game at the Little Ceasar’s Arena.

Tonight, the Wild will try to respond and the Hurricanes will try to win their opener. Here are the stats to know for tonight’s matchup:

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Bruins
Category Hurricanes Bruins
Record 8-6 11-5
Goals/Game 2.79 3.31
Goals Against/Game 2.71 2.06
Shots/Game 30.9 34.3
Faceoff % 49.1% 53.3%
Power Play % (Rank) 10.0% (14) 31.9% (1)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 70.8% (14) 85.7% (4)
ES Corsi For % 55.61% 51.66%
ES PDO 101.2% 101.0
PIM/Game 8:38 6:30

Goaltender #1

Category Petr Mrazek Tuukka Rask
Category Petr Mrazek Tuukka Rask
Record 5-5 11-5
Save % .894 .939
GAA 2.73 1.96

Goaltender #2

Category Curtis McElhinney Jaroslav Halak
Category Curtis McElhinney Jaroslav Halak
Record 3-1 0-0
Save % .943 N/A
GAA 1.70 N/A

Game Notes

  • It’s game one of 82 for the Hurricanes on Saturday, and they will look to win their first opening night game since 2010 when a rookie Jeff Skinner and a Canes team led by Paul Maurice defeated, you guessed it, the Wild in Helsinki, Finland.
  • For the first time since February 26, 2016, the Hurricanes will have a captain, and tonight, and for every home game during the first half of the season, Jordan Staal will don the “C”, and it will be with former captain and face of the franchise Eric Staal on the other side.
  • It will be a day of first for a lot of players as Haydn Fleury and Janne Kuokkanen will play in their first NHL games, and a trio of former Blackhawks in Scott Darling, Marcus Kruger, and Trevor van Riemsdyk will all make their Hurricane debuts. Justin Williams will suit up for the Canes tonight for the first time since February 15, 2009.
  • Darling will be the first opening night starting goalie for the Hurricanes not named Cam Ward since October 5, 2005, when Martin Gerber got the crease and ultimately was pulled after four goals on 19 shots for the then-rookie Ward.
  • Here’s how the Hurricanes will lineup tonight:
  • Carolina went 23-12-6 at the PNC Arena last season, forming one of the toughest challenges in the league for road teams.
  • If you can’t make it to PNC tonight, Fox Sports Carolinas will air a special one-hour Hurricanes Live pregame show, which will include an interview with Bill Peters and Ron Francis, a recap of the team’s offseason moves, and appearance from Hurricanes alumni Bates Battaglia.

Reading and Listening Assignments

  • A long-time Blackhawk, Bryan Bickell retires with the team and takes the ice for one last, emotional time. []
  • Michael Russo, formerly of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, talks about the Staal brothers and their upbringing ahead of yet another reunion on Saturday night. [The Athletic ($)]
  • In their first game in existence, the Vegas Golden Knights came out victorious in the wake of the tragedy that took place less than a week ago. [Vegas Golden Knights]