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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Montreal Canadiens: Game Preview and Storm Advisory

The post-Christmas schedule gets going tonight as the Canadiens come to town for the first of two visits this season.

Jamie Kellner

After a three-day break for Christmas, the Carolina Hurricanes get back to work tonight in their first matchup of the season against the surprisingly middling Montreal Canadiens. The Canes will look to extend their 6-3 record against the Atlantic Division and, depending on what happens elsewhere tonight, could move to within a point of a wild card spot with a win.

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

  • The Hurricanes went 2-1-0 against the Canadiens last season, including a win in the teams’ only matchup in Raleigh, a 3-2 decision on November 16, 2016.
  • Perhaps the Canadiens coming to town is the tonic that the struggling Canes’ penalty kill needs. Carolina has killed 22 straight penalties against Montreal, dating back to January 14, 2014.
  • Jordan Staal will skate in his 800th career game tonight, becoming the second player from the 2007 draft (joining Phil Kessel) to hit the 800-game mark.
  • Also, if Scott Darling makes an appearance tonight, it will mark the 100th game of his NHL career, and he would be the ninth goalie to reach that milestone while in a Canes or Whalers sweater.
  • The Canes have scored in the first minute of their last two games, the first time since the Whalers did so in 1990 and the third time in franchise history.
  • Meanwhile, the Habs will be scraping the bottom of the roster barrel tonight:

Storm Advisory

  • Buckle up.
  • Jordan Staal is finally getting comfortable in the co-captain role, although he admits breaking out from his brother’s shadow took longer than he thought it would. [News and Observer]
  • Johnny Bower, the Hall of Fame goaltender who backstopped the Toronto Maple Leafs to four Stanley Cups, including their most recent one in 1967, died yesterday at age 93. []
  • Bower was beloved by Leafs fans in much the same way Canadiens fans adored Jean Beliveau, and like his rival, Bower’s legacy lasted long after his retirement. []
  • The World Juniors got underway yesterday with four games, including a 9-0 laugher for Team USA over Denmark. [Sportsnet]