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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Nashville Predators: Game Preview

The Hurricanes will look to make it six wins in a row Tuesday night.

Florida Panthers v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

The Hurricanes will look to keep the good vibes going in March as they host the Nashville Predators Tuesday night at PNC Arena. The Hurricanes will have won five in a row going into tonight’s game, including a 4-0-0 mark this month.

The team will also be going for its third win of the season against Nashville, as the Canes are 2-0-0 on the season against the Predators, including a 4-2 victory a week ago.

With Petr Mrazek, who again didn’t practice Monday, seemingly still not ready to return, the Canes could go with Alex Nedeljkovic if they go with the goalie rotation they’ve mostly been using lately. Jake Gardiner and Teuvo Teravainen missed practice Monday, but Rod Brind’Amour said he’d know more about them today; we expect to have a full lineup following the Canes’ 10-30 a.m. morning skate, so stay tuned for that.

Here’s how the Hurricanes and Predators match up:

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:

  • A victory tonight would give Carolina its longest winning steak of the season at six games; the Hurricanes have won five in a row twice.
  • Don’t be surprised to see Sebastian Aho on the scoresheet tonight. The Canes’ Finnish star has eight goals (tied for his most against any team) and 12 points in just 10 career games against the Predators.
  • Multiple Hurricanes carry point streaks into tonight’s game. Vincent Trocheck, the team’s leading goal scorer (he’s also tied for the team lead in points) has been on a tear lately, with four goals and two assists in his last five games (he’s on a five-game points streak). Dougie Hamilton has recorded at least one assist in five straight games. And, last but not least, Martin Necas brings a four-game point streak into this game. Necas was named the NHL’s third star of the week for last week with two goals and five assists in four games.
  • If it is indeed Alex Nedeljkovic in net tonight, he’s been excellent in his last four starts, with a 3-1-0 record, just six goals allowed and a .957 save percentage. With Mrazek seemingly nearing a return, every start is critical on a personal level for “Ned” as he looks to force a tough decision for the coaching staff when the team’s top netminder returns.
  • The Hurricanes enter tonight 7-1-0 in the front half of home-and-home sets with the same team, and they’re undefeated in such games on home ice.
  • The Hurricanes would be wise to stay out of the box in this one: Nashville’s power play is 9 for 28 in its last nine games and has scored a goal in seven of the last nine. The Predators’ man advantage is operating at 32.1% since Feb. 20, and is the third best in the NHL over that span.
  • Filip Forsberg leads the Predators in goals (10), assists (16) and points (26) on the season, and is always one to watch when these two teams meet up. He has four goals and seven points in 12 career games against Carolina.
  • Predators captain Roman Josi has also been playing well lately, with points in three straight games and eight points in his last eight games coming into this one.