You got a nice little respite from the late-night starts over the weekend with the wild matinee win over the Kings on Saturday, but it’s time to pull out the Red Bull again as the Canes After Dark world tour resumes tonight in Northern California.
It’s been a long time since the Hurricanes went to California and swept the state. In fact, it’s only happened once before in franchise history since the Ducks entered the NHL in 1993, and that was in 1998, during the Canes’ first season in North Carolina. To put in perspective how long it’s been since the last time the Canes went 3-for-3 in California, Sebastian Aho was seven months old, and four members of the team (Martin Necas, Andrei Svechnikov, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Seth Jarvis) weren’t even born yet.
Speaking of Jarvis, the worst-kept secret on Edwards Mill Road becomes official tonight when the rookie will take the ice in his 10th career game, activating the first year of his contract. He’s the first Canes rookie since Brock McGinn to score in three straight games, and is currently tied for the league lead among rookies in goals per game at 0.44 with two other players – one of whom, the Sharks’ Jonathan Dahlen, will be out injured tonight.
On the Canes’ front, it’ll be Antti Raanta getting the call in net. There will also be some changes on the blue line for the Canes, as Ethan Bear has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the contest. With Bear out, it looks like Brendan Smith will get back on the ice, meaning someone will have to play off-hand.
#Canes defenseman Ethan Bear received a confirmed positive test for COVID-19 today in San Jose. He will continue to be monitored by the Hurricanes’ medical staff and follow the protocols set forth by the National Hockey League.— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) November 22, 2021
Here’s how the Hurricanes will line up:
Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Seth Jarvis
Teuvo Teravainen - Vincent Trocheck - Martin Necas
Nino Niederreiter - Jordan Staal - Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook - Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Derek Stepan
Jaccob Slavin - Tony DeAngelo
Brady Skjei - Brett Pesce
Ian Cole - Brendan Smith
Injuries and Scratches: Steven Lorentz (healthy), Ethan Bear (COVID)
The Hurricanes will see a familiar face in the opposing net tonight when they skate onto the ice at SAP Center for the first time in more than two years. After two years serving as the second banana in a two-goalie platoon with Petr Mrazek, James Reimer headed to the opposite coast when free agency opened in late July. The Hurricanes had made it evident that they were unlikely to retain Reimer when he reached unrestricted free agency, and the signings of Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta confirmed that Reimer would be headed elsewhere.
The Sharks, like the Ducks and to a lesser extent the Kings, were expected to do little this season, so being within range of a playoff spot almost a quarter of the way into the season is a bit of an unexpected bonus. However, after a 7-4-1 start that had them in the top wild card spot in the West two weeks ago, the Sharks have shuffled backwards thanks to a skid that’s seen them lose four of their last five games, including a 4-0 shutout at the hands of the Capitals on Saturday.
Here’s how the Sharks will look tonight:
Timo Meier - Logan Couture - Rudolfs Balcers
Alexander Barabanov - Tomas Hertl - Noah Gregor
Matt Nieto - Jasper Weatherby - Kevin Labanc
Andrew Cogliano - Nick Bonino - Scott Reedy
Mario Ferraro - Brent Burns
Jacob Middleton - Erik Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Radim Simek
Injuries and Scratches: Evander Kane (suspension), Jonathan Dahlen (arm), Lane Pedersen (IR lower body), Nikolai Knyzhov (IR lower body), Santeri Hatakka (healthy), Jeffrey Viel (healthy), Jonah Gadjovich (healthy)
Referees: Kyle Rehman #10, Trevor Hanson #14
Linesmen: Brandon Gawryletz #64, Derek Nansen #70