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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Chicago Blackhawks: Preview and Game Discussion

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The Hurricanes play their second game of a back to back on Saturday night.

Jamie Kellner

Are you a fan of mediocre power plays? Do you like teams that set up plays on special teams and can’t get a shot off? Then look no further than tonight’s matchup between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Chicago Blackhawks. Both teams rank in the bottom four in the league in power play percentage.

Carolina plays their second game in as many nights, fresh off a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jordan Staal netted a pair of goals for the ‘Canes and Cam Ward turned aside 25 shots. Tonight will be the Blackhawks’ only visit to Raleigh this season, where they haven’t won since March of 2015.

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

Chicago comes in with a Vezina candidate worthy goaltender in Corey Crawford who has played extremely well. Crawford will not get the start in net. Chicago’s goals for has plagued them to this point thus far and has resulted in a rough start by their usual lofty standards.

The Hawks have lost two consecutive games and has won only two of their last six games. The usual suspect, Patrick Kane, leads the team in scoring with 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 16 games. Tonight’s confirmed starter for Chicago, Anton Forsberg, has a goals against average above four. The ‘Hawks have scored two goals or fewer in their last three games. This is the first game of a back-to-back for Chicago as they will return home to take on the New Jersey Devils tomorrow night.

Carolina has only played one back-to-back series so this season and lost the second game of that set to the St. Louis Blues. The ‘Canes have a single player (Justin Williams) that has a points total in double digits while Chicago has three (Kane, Jonathan Toews and Ryan Hartman). The Hurricanes will take on the Dallas Stars on Monday in their third game in four nights.

Tonight will be the first matchup for Scott Darling, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Marcus Kruger against their former team, after all three were dealt to Carolina in separate moves over the summer. It’s also a Homegrown Series game, which means you can enjoy some shrimp and grits and Cheerwine floats at sections 109 and 111 respectively.

Projected Lineups

The Canes will not participate in a morning skate, having flown in from Columbus overnight and arriving back early this morning.

With Ward starting the first game of the back-to-back, Darling will get to the start this evening. Your projected lines for both teams:

Hurricanes

Sebastian Aho - Jordan Staal - Teuvo Teravainen
Brock McGinn - Victor Rask - Justin Williams
Jeff Skinner - Derek Ryan - Elias Lindholm
Joakim Nordstrom - Marcus Kruger - Josh Jooris

Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
Haydn Fleury - Justin Faulk
Noah Hanifin - Trevor van Riemsdyk

Scott Darling
Cam Ward

Blackhawks

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Richard Panik
Nick Schmaltz - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane
Lance Bouma - Tanner Kero - Alex DeBrincat
Patrick Sharp - Tommy Wingels - Ryan Hartman

Duncan Keith - Cody Franson
Connor Murphy - Brent Seabrook
Gustav Forsling-Jan Rutta

Anton Forsberg
Corey Crawford