The Carolina Hurricanes are only making a couple of changes tonight, but they’re both significant. Eddie Lack looks to be in line to make his first start in more than three months, although Bill Peters wouldn’t confirm this morning. Lack last started a game for the Canes on November 6 against the Devils, and has played a couple of games in Charlotte while recovering from a concussion but has not seen any NHL action since being activated off injured reserve just before the All-Star break.
And we are about to find out if the magic that Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin have worked against the league’s top offensive units is spreadable to other pairings. Peters has split the duo up, pairing Slavin with Justin Faulk and Pesce next to Ron Hainsey.
It’s a risky move for Peters, who may be trying to avoid replicating the lineup that lost 6-1 to the Capitals two weeks ago - but in that game, the Pesce-Slavin pairing held Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom scoreless, with their only points coming against the Faulk-Hainsey combination.
Sebastian Aho - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm
Jeff Skinner - Derek Ryan - Lee Stempniak
Brock McGinn - Victor Rask - Teuvo Teravainen
Joakim Nordstrom - Jay McClement - Viktor Stalberg
Jaccob Slavin - Justin Faulk
Ron Hainsey - Brett Pesce
Noah Hanifin - Klas Dahlbeck
Injuries and Scratches: Bryan Bickell (IR multiple sclerosis), Ty Rattie (healthy), Matt Tennyson (healthy), Ryan Murphy (healthy)
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson
Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Nate Schmidt
Injuries and Scratches: Taylor Chorney (healthy)