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Carolina Hurricanes @ Nashville Predators: Game Preview

A blast from playoffs past.

NHL: OCT 09 Hurricanes at Predators Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s a little early in the season for a playoffs rematch, but that’s what the schedule makers gave us, and so we’re just going to roll with it. The Hurricanes head to Nashville for the first of three consecutive road games (next week sees the team head north to Montreal). The last time these two teams saw each other, it was in the handshake line after an overtime goal from Sebastian Aho ended the Predators’ playoffs.

The teams both look a little different now, but they’re meeting back at the scene of the crime as Nashville searches for its first win of the season. The Predators opened their season against the Seattle Kraken and very graciously allowed the expansion team its first franchise win.

In the 4-3 loss to Seattle, the Predators surrendered goals on both penalty kills. While one game is obviously a fairly small sample, the Hurricanes have already found some success on the power play (two of the six goals against the Islanders came with the man advantage). It seems likely that they’ll get the chance to put in some work on the power play in tonight’s game, and some quick success there could easily tilt the game in the Hurricanes’ favor.

Last season, Carolina went 6-2-0 against the Predators in the regular season, and of course went 4-0-2 against them in the playoffs. Both teams have seen some turnover since last year, but with each team’s core players returning, there’s bound to be some feelings spilling over still from previous matchups.

The Predators have welcomed a few new faces this season: Cody Glass (formerly of Vegas) and Philippe Myers (Philadelphia) joined via trade, and backup goaltender David Rittich (Calgary) signed in free agency. Winger Viktor Arvidsson was traded to Los Angeles in July in order to allow the Predators to prioritize keeping other players during the expansion draft.

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Sabres
Category Hurricanes Sabres
Record 15-6-1 8-12-3
Goals/Game 3.14 2.91
Goals Against/Game 2.27 3.65
Shots/Game 33.68 29.13
Face Off Win % 53.7% 45.6%
Power Play % (Rank) 18.9% (15th) 20.0% (13th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 88.1% (3rd) 78.3% (24th)
ES Corsi For % 55.98% 48.32%
ES PDO 101.24 99.60
PIM/Game 09:16 07:21

Goaltender #1

Category Frederik Andersen Craig Anderson
Category Frederik Andersen Craig Anderson
Record 11-5-0 4-2-0
Save % .928 .921
GAA 2.05 2.49

Goaltender #2

Category Antti Raanta Dustin Tokarski
Category Antti Raanta Dustin Tokarski
Record 3-1-1 4-5-3
Save % .894 .903
GAA 2.49 3.28

Game Notes

  • Is today the day Seth Jarvis makes his NHL debut? I think I’ll just keep asking that question until it happens.
  • Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm, the subject of trade rumors over the past year, has some added security in his role. Ekholm signed a contract extension on Wednesday, locking him in for four years at a $6.25 million dollar cap hit. He recorded 23 points in 48 games last season.
  • AHL watchers will recognize some names on the Predators’ roster: Tanner Jeannot, Phillip Tomasino, and Alexandre Carrier all spent time on the Chicago Wolves last season. (For a refresher, Nashville’s affiliate in Milwaukee opted out of playing that season and loaned many of their players out to Chicago instead.) Seth Jarvis is the only current Hurricane who would have spent time sharing a team with them.
  • Did you know David Rittich signed with the Predators? Yeah, neither did I.
  • Related: It’s going to be very weird to watch a Pekka Rinne-less Predators team.