The Carolina Hurricanes go from far north to far south, following up split games in Minnesota and Winnipeg with a road-trip-ending showdown with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Canes have played three games more than the Lightning already this season, and with an almost unchanged lineup headed to the ice for Carolina tonight, we’ll see how that extra ice time benefits the team, especially with youngsters getting quality NHL minutes.
Petr Mrazek will be back in goal tonight after a promising performance but disappointing loss to the Jets. He’ll try to make a statement against a team that’s historically been a burden to him — he’s 1-8 with a 3.95 GAA in 12 games against the Lightning in his career.
Someone who is good against the Lightning: Justin Williams. His 36 points against the Lightning lifetime is tied for the second highest total he’s put up against any team. Hopefully his swing at Top Golf yesterday won’t affect his shot and will instead translate to more success for Williams on the ice tonight.
Scott Darling took shots this morning at practice (as in pucks, not spirits), which is reassuring, but no word on his imminent return just yet.
Here are those lines you’re quite accustomed to by now:
Warren Foegele - Jordan Staal - Justin Williams
Micheal Ferland - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Brock McGinn - Martin Necas - Valentin Zykov
Jordan Martinook - Lucas Wallmark - Andrei Svechnikov
Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Calvin de Haan - Justin Faulk
Trevor van Riemsdyk - Brett Pesce
Scratches: Phil Di Giuseppe (healthy), Haydn Fleury (healthy), Scott Darling (lower body), Victor Rask (hand).
As for Tampa Bay, this is a team that has been able to handle Carolina over the past few season: they’re 16-4 in the past 20 meetings of the two teams.
However, they’re also the only club that has yet to allow a power play goal. It sure feels like Carolina is due for another one of those, so watch the special teams closely tonight.
The Canes will dodge Andrei Vasilevsky and face Louis Domingue, who will make his first start of the season. Here’s how the lines look for the Bolts:
Yanni Gourde - Brayden Point - Steven Stamkos
Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Mathieu Joseph
Adam Erne - Cedric Paquette - J.T. Miller
Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh - Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev