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Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning: Thursday Preview, Lineups and Game Discussion

The Hurricanes and Lightning will end a four-game stretch Thursday night in Tampa, with the Canes looking to rebound from a 3-0 loss Wednesday night.

Carolina Hurricanes v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Scott Audette /NHLI via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning will finish out a four-game stretch against each other in Tampa Thursday night, with the Canes looking to even up the impromptu midseason “series” after the Lightning took the last two games.

Tampa Bay picked up a commanding 3-0 win Wednesday night at home despite a great effort in net for the Canes from Alex Nedeljkovic, as Carolina lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Thursday night’s game will be the fifth of eight this season between the Canes and Lightning, with the teams splitting the first four matchups. It will also be the last time these teams see each other for a little while, as they aren’t scheduled to play again until March 27 (for now).

Puck drop will be at 7 p.m. in Amalie Arena for Thursday’s game.

Vital Statistics

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

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

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

  • The Hurricanes are still expected to be without Teuvo Teravainen Thursday night, as he deals with a concussion.
  • Forward Dave Gust has been added to Carolina’s taxi squad. He has one assist in one game played for the Chicago Wolves this year.
  • The Hurricanes will likely see former Carolina netminder Curtis McElhinney between the pipes for Tampa Bay Thursday after Andrei Vasilevskiy played the first of the back-to-back.
  • The Hurricanes currently hold a 56-55-10-10 all-time mark against the Lightning, so Thursday’s game does present the opportunity for the teams to draw completely even in their 132nd game against each other.
  • Thursday’s game will be the first time in Carolina’s franchise history that it plays the same team four times in a row in the regular season. The Canes played Washington in three straight back in 2006, winning all three.

Projected Lineups

It looks like the Hurricanes’ lineup will be unchanged from Wednesday, apart from James Reimer stepping in to net for the second game of the back-to-back, though there wasn’t confirmation of that. Haydn Fleury will likely be the odd defenseman out once again, as he’ll sit as a healthy scratch with Jake Gardiner and Jake Bean both in the lineup.

Here’s how Rod Brind’Amour’s squad should lineup:

Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Brock McGinn
Nino Niederreiter - Vincent Trocheck - Martin Necas
Warren Foegele - Jordan Staal - Jesper Fast
Cedric Paquette - Steven Lorentz - Jordan Martinook

Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Brady Skjei - Brett Pesce
Jake Gardiner - Jake Bean

James Reimer
Alex Nedeljkovic

Injuries and Scratches: Haydn Fleury (healthy), Petr Mrazek (right thumb), Teuvo Teravainen (concussion)
Taxi Squad: Morgan Geekie, Dave Gust, Max McCormick, Joakim Ryan

For the Lightning, it will likely be former Hurricane Curtis McElhinney between the pipes, as he faces off against the team he spent the 2018-19 season with. Since joining the Lightning following that year, McElhinney is 0-1-1 against the Canes.

Here’s how the Lightning should hit the ice Thursday, based on Wednesday’s lines:

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Blake Coleman
Alex Killorn - Tyler Johnson - Steven Stamkos
Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Mathieu Joseph
Pat Maroon - Ross Colton - Alexander Volkov

Victor Hedman - Mikhail Sergachev
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak
Jan Rutta - Cal Foote

Curtis McElhinney
Andrei Vasilevskiy

Injuries and Scratches: Anthony Cirelli (upper body), Mitchell Stephens (lower body), Nikita Kucherov (LTIR, hip)
Taxi Squad: Luke Schenn, Gemel Smith, Alex Barre-Boulet, Christopher Gibson, Andreas Borgman

Thursday’s Officials
Referees: Justin St. Pierre (12), Furman South (44)
Linesmen: Travis Gawryletz (67), Ryan Daisy (8)