The Nino Niederreiter era begins today in Raleigh as the Carolina Hurricanes are set to take on the Ottawa Senators in their last home game in the month of January.
Niederreiter, who was acquired by the Canes yesterday from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Victor Rask, arrived in time for this morning’s practice. He said of his new team, “There’s something very exciting about the way they play and something to look very much forward to.” He’ll start tonight on a line with Greg McKegg and Justin Williams but that may be adjusted as the game progresses. Post-practice head coach Rod Brind’Amour said that eventually “he’ll be in a top role for sure and he’ll get lots of minutes.”
Petr Mrazek will start in net tonight and appears none the worse for wear after a concerning collision in yesterday’s practice. He’ll be backed up by Alex Nedeljkovic, who was recalled yesterday after news that Curtis McElhinney is bothered by a knee concern.
The Ottawa Senators (with their dads in along for the ride) arrive on the heels of an impressive 5-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday night. Head coach Guy Boucher will not tinker with that successful lineup, which will roll eleven forwards and seven defensemen and Anders Nilsson in net. They’ll have a new backup as veteran netminder Craig Anderson has returned from a concussion to join the lineup .
Projected Lineup - Hurricanes
Micheal Ferland - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov - Lucas Wallmark - Jordan Martinook
Nino Niederreiter - Greg McKegg - Justin Williams
Warren Foegele - Saku Maenalanen - Brock McGinn
Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
Calvin de Haan - Justin Faulk
Trevor van Riemsdyk - Dougie Hamilton
Scratches: Clark Bishop (lower body), Curtis McElhinney (lower body), Jordan Staal (upper body, IR)
Projected Lineup - Senators
Ryan Dzingel - Matt Duchene - Bobby Ryan
Brady Tkachuk - Chris Tieney - Mark Stone
Zack Smith - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Magnus Paarjarvi
Mikkel Boedker - - Rudolfs Balcers
Thomas Chabot - Dylan DeMelo
Maxime Lajoie - Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki - Christian Jaros
Injuries and Scratches: Justin Falk (IR upper body), Ben Harpur, Nick Paul (healthy), Colin White (IR upper body)