Before we get into the setup for tonight’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a bit of news regarding the Hurricanes roster. Lucas Wallmark has been recalled to Raleigh to fill in for Marcus Kruger who has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury. Wallmark has been very solid this season with the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL, and could make his season debut with the Canes tonight if he makes it in time. Wallmark played in eight games during last season.
Even with Wallmark on the roster for Kruger, it is likely that Josh Jooris will draw back into the lineup at the fourth line center spot, but nothing has been confirmed regarding the Canes lineup. Also up in the air is the status of Joakim Nordstrom, who practiced this morning and is expected to play but is not a guarantee to do so. Expect to see the top three lines remain the same, and Coach Bill Peters has confirmed that Cam Ward will again be in the next to try to extend his personal win streak to six.
Here’s how the Canes will (likely) line up:
Sebastian Aho - Jordan Staal - Teuvo Teravainen
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Brock McGinn - Derek Ryan - Justin Williams
Joakim Nordstrom - Josh Jooris - Phil di Giuseppe
Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
Klas Dahlbeck - Justin Faulk
Noah Hanifin - Trevor van Riemsdyk
The Penguins enter tonight’s Metropolitan Division clash off a 5-4 shootout win at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets, which allowed the Pens to keep pace with the Canes at 41 points for the sixth slot in the Metro . The Pens also come to Raleigh with a bit of a battered roster, as Head Coach Mike Sullivan confirmed that not only will Justin Schultz remain out with his longer term lower body injury, but that the Pens will also be without star defenseman Kris Letang (lower body), starting netminder Matt Murray (upper body), Bryan Rust (upper body), and Chad Ruhwedel (upper body).
Coach Sullivan also confirmed that Kris Letang will not play tomorrow in Carolina.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 28, 2017
Below are the projected lines for tonight for the Pens:
Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Carl Hagelin - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel
Dominik Simon - Riley Sheahan - Conor Sheary
Tom Kuhnhackl - Carter Rowney - Ryan Reaves
Brian Dumoulin - Matt Hunwick
Olli Maatta - Frank Corrado
Ian Cole - Jamie Oleksiak