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Carolina Hurricanes at Dallas Stars: Game Preview

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Both teams are coming off disappointing losses. Who comes away with two points?

Dallas Stars v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

Remember that hot minute when everyone was afraid of the Dallas Stars? When they had the best power play in the league and looked, quite frankly, invincible, even though they were doing it with a chunk of their regular roster missing and their blue line consisting of maybe two guys anyone had heard of before? It was a magical time for the Stars, but they’ve cooled off considerably since that eye-popping start, losing three straight, including two overtime losses to Chicago.

It’s a little too early to say that the Stars are reeling, but a three-game skid — and five losses over six games — is one they’re going to want to pull out of sooner rather than later, and the Hurricanes aren’t going to be an easy out for Dallas. Carolina handed the Stars their first losses of the season last month and the Stars have only won once since.

Both teams coming into this one will be motivated, with Dallas coming off of a few real heartbreakers in Chicago, and the Hurricanes, of course, trying to get past whatever exactly that was in Columbus. Games against Dallas are always spirited — and physical — affairs, and with the two teams trying to shake off disappointment, this matchup should be no different.

It’s a little too early to be standings-watching, but Carolina taking four points in this series would put some space between them (currently with 14 points) and Dallas (currently with 13). (Chicago’s somewhat inexplicable hot streak has them currently sitting at third in the division, and I’m sure if you’d told anyone at the start of the season that the Hurricanes were going to have to leapfrog Chicago in the standings at any point, they would have thought you were totally bananas.)

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

  • While Martin Necas may still be a few days away from returning to the lineup, all signs indicate that Vincent Trocheck will be returning in tonight’s game. Both players have been practicing with the team and are making the trek to Dallas. With the injuries to both, the Hurricanes have had to endure some shorthanded games, so the prospect of getting them both back very soon has got to have everyone breathing a sigh of relief.
  • Trocheck, by the way, was playing at a point per game pace before he sat out due to injury. His nine points in nine games are exactly what you want to see from a player looking to establish himself as a scoring threat on a team that is still largely new to him.
  • Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like Sebastian Aho’s hitting a new milestone every time he steps on the ice. His next assist, which might as well come tonight, will be his 150th career assist.
  • Jordan Staal is currently sitting on 298 career points as a Hurricane. Operation Get Jordan to 300 should be in full effect right now.
  • The Stars are led in scoring by Joe Pavelski, who appears to have completely stopped aging. (Between him, Joe Thornton, and Patrick Marleau, quite honestly I’m concerned about what exactly was going on out there in San Jose.) Pavelski is always a threat for a sneakily redirected or tipped shot, so keeping him clear of the net should be a priority.
  • Some of the Stars’ young guns have been stepping up lately. Don’t underestimate Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Denis Gurianov, who are providing a glimpse of what the future may look like for Dallas.