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Carolina Hurricanes @ Minnesota Wild: Game Preview

The Hurricanes look to hand the Wild a third consecutive loss for the first time this season.

Carolina Hurricanes v Minnesota Wild Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images

You could be forgiven for not realizing that the Minnesota Wild currently sit at the top of the Western Conference standings. Their eight-game win streak was probably the quietest hot streak in hockey. Can you name their leading scorer? Can you tell me who their goalie is? Any Wild facts at all?

It’s okay if you can’t. The Wild seem content to just do their thing and welcome the surprise of their opponents when the Wild turn out to look unbeatable.

(Their leading scorer is Kirill Kaprizov. Of course.)

The Wild aren’t just quietly good — they’ve also turned into a quietly fun team.

The Wild endured a lot of offseason noise regarding re-signing Kaprizov, the Russian phenom who gave the Wild a level of excitement on the ice that they’ve rarely had. But once all was said and done, Kaprizov signed a five-year deal and is helping lead the charge through this hot streak for the Wild.

So no, this isn’t exactly the same Wild team we’re used to seeing — somewhat methodical, stifling, but never exactly lighting it up on offense. They’re a little bit more free, a little more creative, and a lot more dangerous.

Before the game starts, let’s see how the two teams match up:

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Bruins
Category Hurricanes Bruins
Record 25-8-2 22-11-2
Goals/Game 3.40 3.14
Goals Against/Game 2.29 2.54
Shots/Game 33.46 36.03
Face Off Win % 54.6% 53.8%
Power Play % (Rank) 24.3% (7th) 23.8% (8th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 90.5% (1st) 83.2% (7th)
ES Corsi For % 55.63% 53.99%
ES PDO 101.16 99.00
PIM/Game 09:25 09:27

Goaltender #1

Category Frederik Andersen Tuukka Rask
Category Frederik Andersen Tuukka Rask
Record 19-6-0 1-0-0
Save % .928 .926
GAA 2.03 2.00

Goaltender #2

Category Antti Raanta Linus Ullmark
Category Antti Raanta Linus Ullmark
Record 5-2-1 13-5-0
Save % .908 .918
GAA 2.35 2.50

Game Notes

  • First off, yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. This game will be available exclusively on ESPN+ and Hulu. No, you will not be able to watch it on your local Bally Sports of choice.
  • The game features a broadcast team of all women: Leah Hextall on play-by-play, Cassie Campbell-Pascall as analyst, and Emily Kaplan between the benches.
  • In case you missed it, Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis will both be out of the lineup as they were placed on the COVID protocol list. Jarvis and Aho have been left back in Vancouver as part of the protocols. As of Monday night, no forwards had been called up from Chicago to join the team. Tony DeAngelo and Brett Pesce, recently released from the COVID list, are expected to rejoin the team now that the Hurricanes are back in the United States.
  • The Wild have been practically unbeatable at home, sporting a 10-2-0 record so far.
  • The Wild have also been pretty good at bouncing back from adversity. During head coach Dean Evason’s tenure (96 games), the Wild have yet to lose more than two consecutive games. Coming off of losses to Los Angeles and Vegas, the Hurricanes have a chance to not only hand the Wild a rare home loss, but also to introduce them to the wild world of losing streaks.
  • Andrei Svechnikov’s next goal will be his 69th career goal. Nice.
  • This is the first matchup between the Hurricanes and Wild this season. The next game is on April 2 in Raleigh.
  • The last time these teams saw each other was December 7, 2019, which was a 6-2 victory for the Hurricanes. Sebastian Aho recorded his third career hat trick in that game.
  • An Updated Game Note: The Canes recalled forward Andrew Poturalski from Chicago Tuesday morning. Poturalski currently leads the AHL with 34 points in 23 games.