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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Montreal Canadiens: Game Preview and Storm Advisory

Let’s raise a toast to a magical 2019 that hopefully has one more win left in it.

Jamie Kellner

It all started last New Year’s Eve, a 3-1 win that turned into a 31-12-2 run to close out the regular season and culminated in a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Coming off a raucous 6-4 win against the Washington Capitals on Saturday night, the Carolina Hurricanes close out a magical 2019 tonight at PNC Arena against the Montreal Canadiens. The Canes are undefeated against the Habs so far in 2019, with an overtime win in March, a shootout win on Opening Night in October, and in between, an offer sheet win in July.

The Canes are also 2-0-0 against the Canadiens in prior games on New Year’s Eve. Do they have one more win left in them to wrap up the year?

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Record 21-7-3 13-13-7
Goals/Game 3.23 2.54
Goals Against/Game 2.48 3.12
Shots/Game 31.52 28.70
Face Off Win % 54.4% 46.2%
Power Play % (Rank) 30.6% (1st) 14.8% (26th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 82.9% (9th) 74.0% (26th)
ES Corsi For % 53.04% 46.16%
ES PDO 100.96 99.42
PIM/Game 07:21 06:43

Goaltender #1

Category James Reimer Joonas Korpisalo
Category James Reimer Joonas Korpisalo
Record 12-4-1 8-10-5
Save % 0.909 .900
GAA 2.68 2.98

Goaltender #2

Category Alex Nedeljkovic Elvis Merzlikins
Category Alex Nedeljkovic Elvis Merzlikins
Record 7-2-2 5-3-2
Save % .930 .912
GAA 1.96 2.91

Game Notes

  • Heading into tonight’s game the Hurricanes have a 2019 record of 53-26-4. 110 points ranks them fourth in the NHL during that time period, and taking into account disparities in games played, their points percentage is .663, good enough for sixth overall. That’s a pretty good year, folks.
  • Congratulations to Teuvo Teravainen, who will be playing in his 400th career NHL game tonight. In his 284 games for the Hurricanes, Turbo has 220 points (66g, 154a, 0.77 points per game average) and a streak of 230 consecutive games which is the fourth longest in franchise history.
  • In another milestone watch, Jordan Martinook is just one point away from 100 career NHL points.
  • Wally and Nino are going streaking: Lucas Wallmark has points in six consecutive games (4g, 4a), and Nino Niederreiter has points in four consecutive games (1g, 4a).
  • After giving up two power play goals to the Capitals Saturday night, the Canes dropped from 8th to 11th in penalty kill percentage, but thanks to Warren Foegele (and Sebastian Aho) Carolina leads the league in short-handed goals (9) and is ranked seventh in short-handed goal differential.
  • Tonight’s game against the Canadiens is the second of three scheduled for this season. The first time the teams met, Dougie Hamilton scored the game-deciding goal in the shootout in a 4-3 win on Opening Night at PNC Arena. All-time the Canes are 17-12-4-2 against Montreal on home ice, and have won eight of their last 10 games.
  • The Canadiens come into Raleigh on their third game of a post-Christmas road trip, one that saw them swept in Florida by two division rivals. They are six points behind the Canes in the conference standings and 6-4-0 over their last 10 games. Offensively they match up similarly to the Canes but they are not as strong defensively or in net (seems an odd thing to say about a team with Carey Price on the roster, but so it goes). Andy will have a full report on the Habs in his Behind Enemy Lines opposition preview later this morning.

Storm Advisory

  • Speaking of our newly minted All-Star, Dougie Hamilton joins the Mikes on the mics on this week’s CanesCast. []
  • And catch Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas on Canes Corner at Backyard Bistro on Thursday night. []
  • Chip Alexander offers his take on the All-Decade Hurricanes roster (editorial note: This was hotly debated at Canes Country headquarters, what say you?) [N&O]
  • A former Hurricanes captain will be making his sixth All-Star Game appearance in January (another editorial note: I am not ready to live in a world where the All-Star Game’s oldest participant is 35-year-old grizzled veteran Eric Staal). [MIN Wild]
  • Yesterday the Hurricanes broadcast team fulfilled an obligation from the Canes Bash auction, calling a youth hockey game at PNC Arena (back story here and here). Here are John and Tripp with the call on the game winner: