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Carolina Hurricanes at Vegas Golden Knights: Game Preview

The Hurricanes begin a six-game road trip tonight with their first visit to Sin City since the Before Times.

Carolina Hurricanes v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images

Gather ‘round, children, and I shall share with you the stories of days of yore. In ye olden times, before “an abundance of caution” became a required part of the vernacular, the Carolina Hurricanes would occasionally play hockey games in places that required long flights to their destination. Every once in a while, they would even play a game in the Pacific time zone, requiring their fans to stay up late and inviting all sorts of mayhem and tomfoolery in the comment section.

Friends, it’s been entirely too long of a time, but tonight we celebrate, for Canes After Dark has finally returned.

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

  • The last time the Hurricanes visited Las Vegas was February 8, 2020, about a month before the world turned upside down. That was a crazy 6-5 Hurricanes shootout win. Down 3-1 at the second intermission, the Hurricanes scored four times in the third to take the lead, only to give it up with a late goal and send the game to overtime and the shootout.
  • Justin Williams scored the winning shootout goal against Marc-Andre Fleury. One of those players is now retired, and the other is now in Chicago. Yes, it’s been a little while.
  • There’s not a ton of history here; the Canes and Knights have only met six times. Oddly, each team has a winning record in the other’s home rink.
  • Despite only playing a handful of times in history, the Canes have a few players who have (lowers shades) hit the jackpot against Vegas. Sebastian Aho (5 GP, 3g, 2a) and Vincent Trocheck (6 GP, 1g, 6a) are point-per-game producers when facing the Golden Knights, and Derek Stepan comes close. His three seasons in Arizona featured divisional games against Vegas, and he’s posted 5 goals and 5 assists in his 12 games.
  • Vegas rookie center Jake Leschyshyn will face his hometown team for the first time tonight. The son of former Canes defenseman Curtis Leschyshyn, Jake was born in Raleigh in 1999 during his dad’s four-year stint with the Canes/Whalers franchise. He registered his first career goal (and first assist, to boot) on Saturday night in the Knights’ win over Vancouver.
  • Tonight’s game matches the teams with the highest points percentage in the NHL in games played since February 22, 2020. (Why then? Who knows; that’s just what the game notes give me.) Since then, the Hurricanes are 51-17-9 for a .721 winning percentage, while the Knights are right behind them, at 56-22-2 and .713.
  • Tonight is also the start of the Hurricanes’ longest road trip of the season. They won’t return home until after Thanksgiving, with visits to the three California teams and their first venture to Seattle on deck over the next week. Make sure you’re loaded up on Red Bull and your snack of choice.