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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Nashville Predators: Game Preview

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Coming off of a less than stellar two games against the Red Wings, the Hurricanes look to bounce back against the Predators.

Nashville Predators v Carolina Hurricanes
 Jordan Staal #11 of the Carolina Hurricanes wins a face off against Ryan Johansen #92 of the Nashville Predators during an NHL game on March 11, 2021 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes enter Thursday night’s game against the Nashville Predators needing to get some much needed momentum back after two disappointing losses on Saturday and Monday to the last place Detroit Red Wings. The Hurricanes had the chance to separate themselves at the top of the Central Division, but instead find themselves once again in a three-way tie with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers.

The Predators are coming off a 7-2 victory over the Lightning on Tuesday night, the worst loss of the season for the Lightning. Nashville is holding on to the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central by four points over the Chicago Blackhawks. They are only nine points back of the top three teams, including the Hurricanes.

Thursday night will also be the Hurricanes debut for defenseman Jani Hakanpaa, who Carolina acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline in exchange for Haydn Fleury. The Canes also received a 2022 sixth-round pick from Anaheim. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour and Don Waddell were both excited to bring in the 6-foot-5, 218-pound Finn into Raleigh for a variety of reasons. He is a physical, shutdown defenseman with a right-handed shot which the Hurricanes needed to shore up the back end of the defensive pairings alongside either Jake Bean or Jake Gardiner.

While it isn’t time to panic, the Canes will hope to come out and take care of business and forget about the last two games quickly as they finish up their eight-game homestand on a high note.

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 Hurricanes are 4-0-0 against the Predators this season and have won 11 of their last 12 against them.
  • Nino Niederreiter extended his point streak to three games on Monday with a goal against the Red Wings. He is third on the team with 15 goals this season.
  • The Hurricanes are 3-2-1 on the current homestand. The next two games against Nashville will wrap up what is now tied for the second-longest homestand in franchise history of eight games. They had a nine game homestand back in 2002.
  • Despite the two losses to the Red Wings, the Hurricanes are tied with Vegas for the second highest win percentage in the NHL (.707) behind only Colorado’s .738.
  • Steven Lorentz scored his first NHL goal against Nashville in a 4-2 win at Bridgestone Arena on March 2.
  • Brett Pesce is one assist shy of 100 career assists.