The Canes finally secured a win Friday after a slog of a losing streak, and the task of securing two points won’t be any easier tonight as they face the Toronto Maple Leafs at PNC Arena.
The Hurricanes won the first matchup of the season against Toronto, 5-2, but it’s a different story in tonight’s game. In case you’ve been asleep for the past three days, a lot of news has happened on the Canes’ front that will affect who plays — and the same is true for the Maple Leafs as well.
First and foremost is the return of Micheal Ferland. Despite being sidelined with a concussion for nearly two weeks, Ferland still leads the team with 11 goals - and after scoring two or fewer goals in five of their past six games, the Canes will certainly appreciate Ferland’s presence in the lineup. He’s projected to man the third line with Clark Bishop and Brock McGinn.
Scott Darling was recently called up to fill in for the injured Curtis McElhinney. Tentatively, Darling will be the backup to tonight’s starter, Petr Mrazek (4-4-2, 2.41 GAA), but McElhinney was on the ice for practice this morning. So it’s unclear how much longer Darling will stick with the NHL club.
Jordan Staal is still sidelined with a concussion, so here’s how we expect the Canes to line up tonight:
Jordan Martinook - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov - Lucas Wallmark - Justin Williams
Micheal Ferland - Clark Bishop - Brock McGinn
Warren Foegele - Victor Rask - Phil Di Giuseppe
Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Calvin de Haan - Justin Faulk
Trevor van Riemsdyk - Brett Pesce
The Maple Leafs should be stronger this time around in Raleigh.
Last time vs. Carolina, they were without Auston Matthews (shoulder) and William Nylander (still hadn’t signed). Those two are back in the lineup for tonight’s game; however, the Leafs will miss Zach Hyman on the top line after he was suspended two games for a late hit on the Bruins’ Charlie McAvoy. Connor Brown will step up in his spot on John Tavares’ left wing opposite Marner.
Here’s how things should shake out for their lines:
Connor Brown - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Andreas Johnsson - Auston Matthews - Kasperi Kapanen
Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - William Nylander
Par Lindholm - Frederik Gauthier - Tyler Ennis
Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Igor Ozhiganov