The Hurricanes have faced Californian teams in the past two games and come out 0-1-1. They’ll try to put a “1” in the win column tonight in San Jose.
Carolina is still short some grit with Micheal Ferland sidelined due to a concussion, but it will receive a boost at the blue line with Brett Pesce returning to the ice after missing nine games with a lower-body injury. Haydn Fleury will be a healthy scratch with Pesce on the ice.
Curtis McElhinney (7-2-1, 2.10 GAA) will make this 11th start of the season. Of goalies with a minimum of 10 starts, McElhinney’s 2.10 GAA mark is second in the league behind Pekka Rinne (1.88 GAA), and his .930 save percentage ranks fourth.
However, the big question mark is still the offense. Carolina has scored the second-lowest amount of goals so far this season (65, behind LA’s 58) despite putting 1,007 shots on net — the highest in the league. That means the Hurricanes are converting a historically low percentage of shots (6.5 percent).
Here’s how the Canes will line up tonight to try to fix that:
Sebastian Aho - Jordan Staal - Teuvo Teravainen
Brock McGinn - Victor Rask - Justin Williams
Andrei Svechnikov - Lucas Wallmark - Jordan Martinook
Warren Foegele - Clark Bishop - Phil Di Giuseppe
Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Calvin de Haan - Justin Faulk
Trevor van Riemsdyk - Brett Pesce
The Hurricanes shot 38-for-41 against Aaron Dell in the last meeting between the teams, but this time, they’ll try to get pucks past Martin Jones (10-6-3, 3.01 GAA).
The Sharks’ No. 1 goaltender has posted an .894 save percentage through 19 starts, which, if it held, would be the lowest single-season mark for Jones in his career and the only season below .900.
Of note: Joe Pavelski is currently top 10 in the NHL in goals scored with 17 in 28 games played. Timo Meier follows him up with 13. The Hurricanes’ top goal scorer? Still the injured Ferland with 11.
Here’s how the Sharks will line up:
Evander Kane - Joe Pavelski - Joonas Donskoi
Tomas Hertl - Logan Couture - Timo Meier
Marcus Sorensen - Joe Thornton - Kevin Labanc
Barclay Goodrow - Antti Suomela - Melker Karlsson
Radim Simek - Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon - Erik Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun