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Carolina Hurricanes at Detroit Red Wings, Game 2: Game Preview and Storm Advisory

The Hurricanes look to improve to 2-0 as they face the Red Wings for second time in three days.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The quest for 56-0 continues tonight as the Carolina Hurricanes face-off against the Detroit Red Wings in game two of a two-game opening series at Little Caesars Arena.

The Canes managed their way through a messy game on opening night and they did so by way of a 3-0 shutout win. Tonight, they’ll run it back with Wings, but they’ll be without a huge piece of the puzzle due to their first COVID problem of what could be many this season.

Let’s break it down.

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

  • The big news going into tonight’s game is the status of Canes captain Jordan Staal. It was announced on Friday that he was included on the NHL’s COVID protocol list. His inclusion on the list can be for a number of different reasons, as explained by the league:

Continuing for the balance of the 2020-21 season, the NHL is sharing the names of Players who are “unavailable” to the Club (to practice, travel or play in games) due to COVID protocols. Such “COVID Protocol Related Absences” can be the result of a number of factors including, among others: (1) an initial positive test which remains unconfirmed until confirmatory testing is completed pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol; (2) mandated isolation for symptomatic individuals pursuant to the Positive Test Protocol; (3) required quarantine as a high-risk close contact in accordance with the Positive Test Protocol; (4) isolation based on a confirmed positive test result and/or; (5) quarantine for travel or other reasons as outlined in the COVID-19 Protocol.

No additional detail will be provided either by the League or the Club, including the precise reason the Player is unavailable or how long he might be out.

  • Assuming he will not be in the lineup on Saturday, the Hurricanes will be able to utilize a player from their taxi squad, which includes three forwards, two defensemen, and one goaltender - all of whom are with the team in Detroit. Morgan Geekie is expected to get the nod, as Staal’s absence leaves a big hole in the middle of the ice and he has already played and played well at the NHL level as a centerman.
  • Since 2009, the Hurricanes have started 2-0-0 just twice (2010 and 2019). If they win tonight, it will be the first time in Carolina franchise history that the team has started 2-0-0 in consecutive seasons.
  • Dating back to last regular season, Jake Gardiner and Nino Niederreiter carry three-game point streaks into tonight’s matchup.
  • The Hurricanes will have six remaining games against the Red Wings after tonight - four home games and two road games.
  • Carolina has beaten Detroit in each of their last four head-to-head contests and four of their last five on the road at Little Caesars Arena.

Storm Advisory

  • Former Hurricanes play-by-play man John Forslund discusses his exit from the team and what lies ahead for him as he calls games for NBC in a season unlike any other. (Barrett Sports Media)
  • Six players got taken off of the NHL’s COVID protocol list on Thursday.