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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Detroit Red Wings: Game Preview

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In the last game before the trade deadline, the Hurricanes look to scoop up two more points.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Detroit Red Wings Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes did exactly what was needed on Thursday, pulling out a second consecutive win over the Florida Panthers to recapture the top spot in the Central Division. The race in the division is tight, and with no one truly pulling away from the pack yet, it could come down to the final few games of the season.

So every point counts, maybe even a little more than usual, given the one-point separation between the Hurricanes and their Florida-based competitors. With both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers in action today as well, a win over the Red Wings is crucial to either keep pace or put some more distance between the teams.

The Hurricanes have a surprisingly mediocre record against the Red Wings this season, going 3-2-0 in five game to date. Despite being near the bottom of the league’s standings, the Red Wings have managed to confound some very good teams this year, so the Hurricanes need to take tonight’s game seriously. Let’s see how the two teams stack up:

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Lightning
Category Hurricanes Lightning
Record 5-5-0 7-3-0
Goals/Game 3.10 3.60
Goals Against/Game 2.80 2.60
Shots/Game 37.6 29.5
Face Off Win % 52.7% 47.6%
Power Play % (Rank) 20.0% (8th) 41.2% (1st)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 77.5% (9th) 75.8% (10th)
ES Corsi For % 55.1% 46.4%
ES PDO 99.1 101.5
PIM/Game 10:24 12:12

Goaltender #1

Category Alex Nedeljkovic Andrei Vasilevskiy
Category Alex Nedeljkovic Andrei Vasilevskiy
Record 4-4-0 7-3-0
Save % .920 .928
GAA 2.18 2.46

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

Goaltender #3

Category James Reimer Kasimir Kaskisuo
Category James Reimer Kasimir Kaskisuo
Record 15-5-2 0-0-0
Save % .906 .000
GAA 2.66 0.00

Game Notes

  • The only team that has given the Hurricanes more trouble than the Red Wings is the Tampa Bay Lightning, who they’ve gone 3-3-0 against to date. They’ve got two more chances coming up this month to solve their divisional rivals.
  • The fire sale is slowly starting to kick into gear in Detroit. Patrik Nemeth was traded to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday; meanwhile, Bobby Ryan, previously on many trade boards, has been shut down for the season with an injury.
  • With several players on expiring contracts — including Darren Helm, Valtteri Filppula, Sam Gagner, Marc Staal, and Jonathan Bernier — the Red Wings team the Hurricanes face today may be very different than the one they face on Monday, post-trade deadline.
  • Gagner, as well as Robby Fabbri, have already been confirmed to be out for today’s game.
  • The Hurricanes continue to rotate between three goaltenders, with no signs of that situation changing. With how well the trio has performed, it’s unlikely that situation will change any time soon, potentially making the Hurricanes one of the rare teams who can navigate your traditional three-headed goalie monster.
  • The past goalie starts against the Red Wings don’t shed much light on the situation: Petr Mrazek and Alex Nedeljkovic each have two starts, James Reimer has one. Mrazek and Reimer were in net for the losses to Detroit.
  • Sebastian Aho leads the Hurricanes with 37 points. Filip Hronek, the Red Wings’ leading scorer, would be eighth on the Hurricanes, with 22 points.