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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Detroit Red Wings: Preview and Game Discussion

The Canes aim for their third straight win as they face the Red Wings in Detroit.

NHL: NOV 24 Hurricanes at Red Wings Photo by Allan Dranberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What a difference a weekend can make. After the Carolina Hurricanes (37-25-5, 79pts) defeated two straight Metro division opponents in a back-to-back, the Canes now hold the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With at least one game in hand against all their nearest playoff competitors, Carolina enters tonight’s game in control of their own playoff destiny.

Obviously, the arrival of Morgan Geekie with a two-goal, one assist debut captured the headlines. Yet, the real story might be that the Canes are finally getting much-needed scoring contributions from some of their veterans.

Jake Gardiner had a goal, an assist, four shots, and finished plus-1 in the Pittsburgh game. Jordan Martinook and Jordan Staal each had a pair of assists.

What’s more, the forward lines that so recently seemed out of sorts now appear to be rounding into shape. Both the Staal line and the fourth line looked potent against the Penguins.

In net, Petr Mrazek (20-16-2, .904 SV%, 2.71 GAA) returns from the concussion he suffered February 22nd against the Maple Leafs. With Mrazek returning to the lineup, Alex Nedeljkovic has been re-assigned to Charlotte.

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

The Canes’ expected lines:

Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Warren Foegele - Vincent Trocheck - Martin Necas
Brock McGinn - Jordan Staal - Justin Williams
Nino Niederreiter - Morgan Geekie - Jordan Martinook

Joel Edmundson - Jaccob Slavin
Haydn Fleury - Brady Skjei
Jake Gardiner - Trevor van Riemsdyk

Petr Mrazek
Anton Forsberg

Injuries and Scratches: Dougie Hamilton (IR leg), Brett Pesce (IR shoulder), James Reimer (lower-body), Sami Vatanen (IR leg), Ryan Dzingel (upper-body)

It’s been a long season for the Detroit Red Wings (17-48-5, 39pts). Last in the NHL in terms of points, Detroit is an incredible 21 points back of the Los Angeles Kings — the team with the league’s second-lowest point total.

Amazingly, even with all the losing, the Red Wings enter tonight’s game as the winners of two-straight. Detroit has only managed to string together three straight wins one other time this entire season, and that happened all the way back in November.

The Red Wings are led by Dylan Larkin (19g, 34a), Tyler Bertuzzi (20g, 27a), and Anthony Mantha (16g, 21a).

In net, Jonathan Bernier (15-21-3, .908 SV%, 2.90 GAA) should get the start.

The Red Wings’ expected lines:

Tyler Bertuzzi - Dylan Larkin - Anthony Mantha
Darren Helm - Valtteri Filppula - Sam Gagner
Christoffer Ehn - Luke Glendening - Robby Fabbri
Brendan Perlini - Frans Nielsen - Dmytro Timashov

Trevor Daley - Filip Hronek
Patrik Nemeth - Alex Biega
Madison Bowey - Gustav Lindstrom

Jonathan Bernier
Jimmy Howard

Injuries and Scratches: Danny DeKeyser (IR back), Filip Zadina (IR lower-body), Justin Abdelkader (illness), Adam Erne (hand)