The Carolina Hurricanes return to Montreal a little over two weeks after their initial visit to face the Canadiens yielded a 2-1 victory. This time around, Curtis McElhinney will not be available to carry the Canes to victory, as his injury has opened the door to Petr Mrazek taking the net.
As Jordan Staal was placed on IR while dealing with his concussion, the Canes recalled Janne Kuokkanen from Charlotte to make his season debut this evening. The Canes will hope they can dig themselves out of their current offensive rut, as they have scored two or fewer goals in six of their last seven contests.
The Hirricanes will wear their home red uniforms for the fourth straight road game tonight. It isn’t as easy as simply making the decision to change threads, as Michael Smith noted in this week’s Tweetmail column, which is worth a read if you haven’t yet seen it.
In search of that scoring punch, Coach Rod Brind’Amour is expected to roll out the following lines:
Jordan Martinook - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov - Lucas Wallmark - Justin Williams
Janne Kuokkanen - Victor Rask - Brock McGinn
Warren Foegele - Clark Bishop - Phil Di Giuseppe
Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
Calvin de Haan - Justin Faulk
Haydn Fleury - Dougie Hamilton
After reeling off three straight wins going back to last week, the Canadiens were stopped in their tracks on Tuesday as the Minnesota Wild dominated every facet of the game in a 7-1 rout in St. Paul.
Since his return against the Hurricanes on November 27th, Shea Weber has done a lot to help stabilize the back end for the Habs, while immediately contributing on the offensive end with five points in seven games, all at even strength. The expectation is that, as the true quarterback of the Habs’ power play, his impact will continue to grow as his presence is felt on the league’s 30th rated power play (13.46%).
Claude Julien is expected to ice the following lines as the Habs seek to level up the season series with Carolina:
Jonathan Drouin - Max Domi - Andrew Shaw
Tomas Tatar - Phillip Danault - Brendan Gallagher
Paul Byron - Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Artturi Lehkonen
Kenny Agostino - Michael Chaput - Nicolas Deslauriers
Brett Kulak - Shea Weber
Mike Reilly - Jeff Petry
Jordie Benn - Noah Juulsen