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Carolina Hurricanes at Detroit Red Wings: Game Preview and Discussion

The Hurricanes begin their final trip to the Motor City this season with the first of two games against the Red Wings in a late-afternoon matinee..

Detroit Red Wings v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Karl DeBlaker/NHLI via Getty Images

Fresh off a two-day break, a respite that they won’t enjoy again for the next week and a half, the Carolina Hurricanes begin their final trip of the season to Detroit this afternoon for a late-afternoon matinee against the Red Wings.

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 #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

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

Game Notes

  • Unfortunately, Round 2 of the Svechnikov Family Battle Royal will have to wait. The Red Wings sent Evgeni back to the AHL yesterday, ensuring that Andrei will continue to have family bragging rights after today’s game and for the foreseeable future.
  • The last time the Hurricanes visited Detroit they did something that has been a real rarity this season: they lost in regulation. The Red Wings took a 4-2 win on January 16, and that loss was the springboard for a five-game Hurricanes winning streak. They haven’t been anywhere near .500 ever since.
  • The Hurricanes are currently on a seven-game streak, and their 39 points in 26 games is their best total through that number of games since 2005-06, when they had 34 points. They’re two wins away from matching the franchise record with a nine-game winning streak, which has only been done three times, once in 2008-09 and twice in 2005-06.
  • You’ll recall that those two years were somewhat successful for the Hurricanes.
  • That seven-game streak not only applies to wins, but also consecutive games with a power play goal. At 32.2%, the Canes’ power play is tops in the league, matched by a top-ten penalty kill as well. They’ll look to continue their special teams success against a shaky Red Wings squad that is second-last on the power play and 29th killing penalties.
  • The lineup for the Hurricanes will remain the same today as it was in Thursday’s win over Nashville, with one exception: Alex Nedeljkovic will face his former teammate, Dylan Larkin. Yes, you read that correctly: Ned and Larkin were teammates in 2012 on the Belle Tire Bantam AAA squad, winning the national championship in their age group that year.
  • It’s the second time the two have faced each other in the NHL. The first was ten days ago, when Ned and the Hurricanes topped the Red Wings 5-2 in Raleigh.
  • Jake Gardiner was placed on waivers yesterday with the intent of assigning him to the taxi squad, and unsurprisingly no other team claimed his $4 million cap hit. Putting Gardiner on the taxi squad removes a bit more than $1 million of his cap hit from the Hurricanes’ cap number, and buys a bit more space should the Hurricanes want to make a move prior to the April 12 trade deadline.

Projected Lineups


Nino Niederreter - Sebastian Aho - Martin Necas
Andrei Svechnikov - Jordan Staal - Jesper Fast
Brock McGinn - Jordan Martinook - Warren Foegele
Cedric Paquette - Morgan Geekie - Steven Lorentz

Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Brady Skjei - Brett Pesce
Haydn Fleury - Jake Bean

Alex Nedeljkovic
James Reimer

Injuries and scratches: Petr Mrazek (IR right thumb), Teuvo Teravainen (concussion symptoms), Vincent Trocheck (upper body)

Taxi squad: Max McCormick, Antoine Bibeau, Max McCormick, Jake Gardiner

Red Wings

Robby Fabbri - Dylan Larkin - Anthony Mantha
Filip Zadina - Vladislav Namestnikov - Sam Gagner
Mathias Brome - Michael Rasmussen - Bobby Ryan
Darren Helm - Luke Glendening - Adam Erne

Danny DeKeyser - Filip Hronek
Marc Staal - Jon Merrill
Patrik Nemeth - Christian Djoos

Jonathan Bernier
Thomas Greiss

Injuries and Scratches: Tyler Bertuzzi (IR upper body), Troy Stecher (healthy)

Taxi squad: Frans Nielsen, Valtteri Filppula, Alex Biega, Calvin Pickard