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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Buffalo Sabres: Game Preview and Discussion

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The Canes take on the Sabres tonight in Jeff Skinner’s first trip back to Raleigh.

Jamie Kellner

The Hurricanes take on the Buffalo Sabres tonight for the first time this season as they welcome former franchise winger Jeff Skinner back to PNC Arena.


Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Bruins
Category Hurricanes Bruins
Record 8-6 11-5
Goals/Game 2.79 3.31
Goals Against/Game 2.71 2.06
Shots/Game 30.9 34.3
Faceoff % 49.1% 53.3%
Power Play % (Rank) 10.0% (14) 31.9% (1)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 70.8% (14) 85.7% (4)
ES Corsi For % 55.61% 51.66%
ES PDO 101.2% 101.0
PIM/Game 8:38 6:30

Goaltender #1

Category Petr Mrazek Tuukka Rask
Category Petr Mrazek Tuukka Rask
Record 5-5 11-5
Save % .894 .939
GAA 2.73 1.96

Goaltender #2

Category Curtis McElhinney Jaroslav Halak
Category Curtis McElhinney Jaroslav Halak
Record 3-1 0-0
Save % .943 N/A
GAA 1.70 N/A

Game Notes

  • Tonight’s matchup is the first of three between the two teams this season. The Canes will be in Buffalo in February, while the Sabres will round out the season series with a second visit to Raleigh in March.
  • The Canes have won six consecutive games against the Sabres, which is their longest active winning streak against any NHL opponent.
  • The Canes swept the season series 3-0-0 in the 2017-18 season, earning two wins in regulation and one in overtime.
  • Dougie Hamilton, who has been hot offensively lately, has posted 14 points (7g, 7a) in 18 career games against the Sabres, which marks the most goals and tied for the most points he has tallied against any NHL opponent.
  • In addition to Jeff Skinner’s return to PNC Arena - more on that here - tonight also marks former Hurricanes’ assistant coach Steve Smith’s return to Raleigh following his departure last summer.

Lines and Rosters

The Hurricanes are still without Jordan Staal and Clark Bishop as they continue to recuperate from injuries. The good news is that both players took the ice to skate today after Buffalo’s morning skate, which would indicate that they are getting closer to game condition. After playing last night in Florida, we can expect a swap in net. Here’s what you can expect tonight.

Brock McGinn - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Micheal Ferland - Lucas Wallmark - Jordan Martinook
Andrei Svechnikov - Greg McKegg - Justin Williams
Warren Foegele - Victor Rask - Saku Maenalanen

Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
Calvin de Haan - Justin Faulk
Trevor van Riemsdyk - Dougie Hamilton

Curtis McElhinney
Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Clark Bishop (lower body), Jordan Staal (upper body, IR)


The Sabres have been without captain Jack Eichel since before the new year as he recovered from an upper-body injury. He’s expected to draw in tonight. Here’s how the Sabres will likely line up tonight.

Jeff Skinner - Jack Eichel - Tage Thompson
Conor Sheary - Vladimir Sobotka - Sam Reinhart
Zemgus Girgensons - Casey Mittelstadt - Jason Pominville
Evan Rodrigues - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo

Lawrence Pilut - Rasmus Ristolainen
Rasmus Dahlin - Zach Bogosian
Marco Scandella - Jake McCabe

Carter Hutton
Linus Ullmark

Injuries and Scratches: Nathan Beaulieu (healthy), Remi Elie (healthy), Matt Hunwick (healthy), Casey Nelson (IR upper body), C.J. Smith (healthy), Scott Wilson (IR ankle)