clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: Preview, Lineups and Game Hub

The Carolina Hurricanes will be hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night in an important tilt for positioning in the division.

NHL: FEB 25 Hurricanes at Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes come into tonight’s contest three points behind Tampa Bay for first place in the Central division with a game still in hand. Despite three losses in their past five games, the Hurricanes have collected points in 12 of their last 13 games with a 10-1-2 record.

The Lightning had a five-game winning streak snapped Thursday night in Dallas.

While the last series against Tampa Bay saw a disappointing finish with three straight losses, the Lighting and Hurricanes have played very exciting and high level hockey against one another this season.

As two of the top teams in the league, it’s what you expect from two potential Stanley Cup contenders and tonight should be no different. And along with that, this is a very pivotal game for both teams as it could intensify the battle for the top seed.

It is also one of the rare times this season where the Hurricanes will only play a one-game series as the team will travel to Chicago after this match for a two-game series starting on Tuesday.

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Lightning
Category Hurricanes Lightning
Record 22-7-3 24-7-2
Goals/Game 3.25 3.61
Goals Agaisnt/Game 2.5 2.33
Shots/Game 31.56 30.36
Face Off Win % 54.40% 50.20%
Power Play % (Rank) 30% (1st) 28.7% (2nd)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 82.4% (9th) 82.6% (8th)
ES Corsi For % 53.20% 51.30%
ES PDO 101 102.4
PIM/Game 7:18 10:16

Goaltender #1

Category James Reimer Andrei Vasilevskiy
Category James Reimer Andrei Vasilevskiy
Record 12-4-1 21-4-1
Save % 0.909 0.932
GAA 2.68 1.91

Goaltender #2

Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Record 15-5-4 23-14-3
Save % .912 .914
GAA 2.45 2.41

Game Notes

  • Dougie Hamilton’s point streak looks to stay alive as he has extended the franchise record for point streak by a defenseman to 13 games now.
  • Hamilton is also only one goal shy of 100 career goals
  • Other streaks include Martin Necas on a two game goal streak, Sebastian Aho on a two game point streak and Brady Skjei on a two game point streak.
  • This will be the sixth meeting this season between the two clubs. Carolina is 2-3-0 against Tampa Bay this year and both teams have posted at least one shutout against the other.
  • With a win tonight, the Hurricanes would be only one point behind the Lightning for top-seed in the division and would still have a game in hand.
  • Andrei Svechnikov is one goal away from being the fifth Canes skater this season to reach double digit goals. Others include Aho, Nino Niederreiter, Vincent Trocheck and Jordan Staal.

Hurricanes Projected Lineup

Head coach Rod Brind’Amour confirmed that James Reimer will be the starting goaltender for tonight’s matchup.

Reimer has a 12-4-1 record with a 0.909 save percentage and 2.68 goals against average.

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

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

James Reimer
Alex Nedeljkovic

Injuries and Scratches: Petr Mrazek (right thumb), Teuvo Teravainen (concussion symptoms), Vincent Trocheck (upper body)
Taxi Squad: Jake Gardiner, Joey Keane, Max McCormick, Beck Warm

The Lightning will be without two of their top defensemen in Erik Cernak and Ryan McDonagh as both were recently sidelined with lower-body injuries.

Their lineup is projected to be the same one they utilized Thursday against the Dallas Stars and that includes Andrei Vasilevskiy in net.

Vasilevskiy is 21-4-1 on the season with a 0.932 save percentage and 1.91 goals against average. He also has 21.9 goals save above expected according to

Lightning Projected Lineup

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Steven Stamkos
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Tyler Johnson
Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Blake Coleman
Pat Maroon - Ross Colton - Mathieu Jospeh

Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta
Mikhail Sergachev - Cal Foote
Andreas Borgman - Luke Schenn

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Curtis McElhinney

Injuries and Scratches: Erik Cernak (lower body), Nikita Kucherov (hip surgery), Ryan McDonagh (lower body), Mitchell Stephens (lower body)
Taxi Squad: Gemel Smith, Christopher Gibson