If there’s one thing the Carolina Hurricanes need right now, it’s a regulation win to revitalize the team — and an early statement would help against the Vegas Golden Knights tonight. After rallying back from a poor first period to secure a point in Phoenix, Carolina will try to find the fight early on the back-end of a back-to-back.
The plan according to Rod Brind’Amour earlier this week was to split time for the Canes goalie. In turn, Scott Darling will likely get the start in net for the second time this season. He allowed three goals on 31 shots against the Bruins in a home loss on Tuesday.
The Canes split decisions with the Golden Knights last year — a shootout win in Vegas and a regulation loss at home — but now they enter a game with new faces on both sides of the ice. And today, it looks like Carolina will also see some jumbled up lines.
Michael Smith of Hurricanes.com said to “expect the Hurricanes to stick with these new combinations or experiment further.” If we stick with what we saw yesterday in the second and third period, it should look something like this:
Micheal Ferland - Sebastian Aho - Andrei Svechnikov
Brock McGinn - Jordan Staal - Justin Williams
Warren Foegele - Nicolas Roy - Valentin Zykov
Jordan Martinook - Lucas Wallmark - Teuvo Teravainen
Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Calvin de Haan - Justin Faulk
Trevor van Riemsdyk - Brett Pesce
The Golden Knights are arguably just as hungry as the Hurricanes for a win. They haven’t had the best start in their defense of the Western Conference title, including a 1-3-1 skid in the past five games (the lone win coming in OT against the Senators).
Marc-Andre Fleury (5-5-1, 2.74 GAA) will get the start in net, and the Vegas lines are the same as they were to start their last game against the Blues:
Jonathan Marchessault - William Karlsson - Reilly Smith
Tomas Hyka - Erik Haula - Alex Tuch
Ryan Carpenter - Cody Eakin - Tomas Nosek
William Carrier - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb - Colin Miller
Shea Theodore - Deryk Engelland
Nick Holden - Brad Hunt
For the Canes’ AHL affiliate, things could hardly be going better. The Checkers are 9-1-0 to begin the year and can complete a two-game sweep of the Providence Bruins today at 6:00 p.m. at Bojangles Coliseum.
Four different Checkers scored in the 4-3 win yesterday, including Morgan Geekie, who finished with a goal and an assist. Alex Nedeljkovic got the win, going 21-for-24 in net.
Canes Country will have complete coverage of the game tonight with a recap and live updates on Twitter by our own Justin Lape.