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Carolina Hurricanes at Chicago Blackhawks: Game Preview

The Carolina Hurricanes will start a two-game series tonight in Chicago as they look to extend their win streak to four and point streak to six.

Carolina Hurricanes v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After an exciting win in regulation over the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night, the Carolina Hurricanes will now face the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night for the first of yet another two-game series.

The Hurricanes, winners of their last three and with points in their last five, are keeping the ball rolling even in the face of continuous injuries.

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Bruins
Category Hurricanes Bruins
Record 54-20-8 51-26-5
Goals/Game 3.38 3.08
Goals Against/Game 2.44 2.66
Shots/Game 34.12 36.12
Face Off Win % 53.9% 54.2%
Power Play % (Rank) 22.0% (13th) 21.2% (15th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 88.0% (1st) 81.3% (9th)
ES Corsi For % 43.86% 56.14%
ES PDO 113.44 86.56
PIM/Game 12:00 22:00

Vincent Trocheck is practicing but needs medical clearance and Petr Mrazek is also practicing but his return all depends on when he himself gives the team the green light.

But the Canes have no timetable for Teuvo Teravainen, who is still experiencing post-concussion symptoms, and Jake Gardiner — who’s currently on the taxi squad — aggravated something else during his recovery from a back injury.

It’s been a frustrating time for the Hurricanes in terms of injuries as it’s not only been key players, but there have also been no clear timetables for their returns.

But their opponent’s injury problems have been just as bad if not worse.

Chicago has been without Jonathan Toews, Alex Nylander, Brent Seabrook, Zack Smith and Kirby Dach from the very start of the season and had since lost Andrew Shaw as well.

But there has been a slight bit of relief as Dach, who fractured his wrist in the World Juniors Tournament, made his return to the lineup Saturday.

He could bring a substantial boost to the Hawks lineup that was sorely missing a high-end center. Even without one, Patrick Kane (13-35-48) and Alex DeBrincat (18-17-35) have been carrying the load for Chicago, something head coach Rod Brind’Amour pointed out yesterday.

“They have two elite players that are really carrying the load. They can just literally win games. [Patrick Kane] is a special player, and [Alex DeBrincat], they’ve got great chemistry. Those two guys are going to be a handful, and now they’re getting some healthy guys back.”

Another heavy lifter for the Hawks has been rookie netminder Kevin Lankinen. Coming into the season, the Hawks were projected to be cycling a few netminders to see if anything would stick and Lankinen’s emergence was a welcomed surpise.

But the Hurricanes’ own rookie netminder has been just as impressive. Alex Nedeljkovic could be the Hurricanes’ goalie of the future and he’s been really making the case for himself.

Goaltender #1

Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Record 35-14-3 26-10-2
Save % .922 .917
GAA 2.17 2.45

Goaltender #2

Category Alex Nedeljkovic Chris Driedger
Category Alex Nedeljkovic Chris Driedger
Record 12-4-2 12-5-3
Save % .933 .927
GAA 1.87 2.09

Game Notes

  • The Dougie Hamilton point streak is still chugging along. Another point tonight (15) will move him into a tie for 10th all time for point streak by a defenseman and he’ll be just the second defenseman to reach that milestone in this millennia.
  • After a four-point night in his last game against the Lightning, Martin Necas now leads all Central division skaters in points (17) in the month of March.
  • The game could see another special teams battle as each rocks a top three power play. The two teams have scored a combined seven power play goals in just the three meetings between them.
  • The Canes will be featured in a prime time slot on NBCSN, their first nationally televised game this season.