It’s been a rough week for the Carolina Hurricanes as the injury bug has bit them hard in the final stages of a disappointing 2017-18 season.
That, in tandem with a string of lackluster performances, will prove to be a challenge tonight as they host the bottom-dwelling Arizona Coyotes.
Despite winning two straight games and three of their last five, the ‘Yotes are in the midst of an awful season. Their 25-37-11 record is the third-worst in the NHL. They sit just three points above the last-place Buffalo Sabres and two points above the Vancouver Canucks at the bottom of the Western Conference.
Carolina Hurricanes Lines
The Canes will have to make do with what they have over the last few weeks of the season after getting hit with a barrage of injuries.
On Monday, Noah Hanifin was ruled out indefinitely with a concussion. Yesterday, the team announced that Brett Pesce and Victor Rask would miss the remainder of the season due to shoulder injuries.
With injuries come opportunities. Carolina’s top AHL defensive prospect Roland McKeown will crack the Canes lineup for the fourth time this season. He had two points in three games with the team in his first NHL recall in the early stages of the season. Additionally, AHL goal-leader Valentin Zykov will get a chance to play with the club’s top point producers on the first line.
Teuvo Teravainen - Sebatian Aho - Valentin Zykov
Brock McGinn - Jordan Staal - Justin Williams
Jeff Skinner - Elias Lindholm - Lee Stempniak
Joakim Nordstrom - Derek Ryan - Phil Di Giuseppe
Jaccob Slavin - Justin Faulk
Haydn Fleury - Trevor van Riemsdyk
Klas Dahlbeck - Roland McKeown
Scratches: Victor Rask (shoulder), Brett Pesce (shoulder), Noah Hanifin (concussion)
Arizona Coyotes Lines
On the other side of things, Arizona’s offensive attack is led by rookie stud Clayton Keller. The small American forward started the year as a clear Calder frontrunner but has since fallen behind the likes of Mathew Barzal, Brock Boeser, and Charlie McAvoy.
Other notable names scattered throughout the Coyotes’ young lineup are first-round picks Max Domi, Brendan Perlini, Dylan Strome, and Jakob Chychrun.
Darcy Kuemper is expected to be between the pipes on Thursday night.
Clayton Keller - Derek Stepan - Richard Panik
Max Domi - Dylan Strome - Brendan Perlini
Jordan Martinook - Christian Dvorak - Nick Cousins
Zac Rinaldo - Brad Richardson - Christian Fischer
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Jakob Chychrun - Alex Goligoski
Kevin Connauton - Luke Schenn
Scratches: Laurent Dauphin (lower-body injury), Jason Demers (upper-body injury)