For the first time in over a month the Carolina Hurricanes will take the ice against the Nashville Predators Thursday night in PNC Arena, the first of two games here against Nashville to end an eight-game homestand.
For the Canes, it’ll be the team debut for newly acquired defenseman Jani Hakanpaa, who joined the team at the trade deadline Monday and will pair up with Jake Bean. Petr Mrazek will be back in net for Carolina Thursday, looking to pick up his third win in four games since returning from injury.
Carolina, which is coming off back-to-back losses to the Detroit Red Wings, is 4-0-0 this season against the Predators, and the Canes will look to get back in the win column Thursday against a team it has had a lot of success against this year.
Here’s how the Hurricanes should line up, with Brock McGinn and Teuvo Teravainen still out of the mix with injury:
Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook - Vincent Trocheck - Martin Necas
Nino Niederreiter - Jordan Staal - Warren Foegele
Cedric Paquette - Steven Lorentz - Morgan Geekie
Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Brady Skjei - Brett Pesce
Jake Bean - Jani Hakanpaa
Injuries and Scratches: James Reimer (healthy), Brock McGinn (upper body), Teuvo Teravainen (concussion symptoms, IR)
Taxi Squad: Jake Gardiner, Max McCormick, Joakim Ryan, Drew Shore
The Predators currently hold the fourth and final playoff spot in the NHL’s Central Division, four points clear of Chicago in fifth.
Nashville has been playing its best hockey as of late, with the Predators victorious in 13 of their last 16 outings. The Preds are coming into this one off two straight wins, a shootout victory over Dallas and a 7-2 thumping of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Juuse Saros will be in net for Nashville Thursday night, as the Predators will roll out the same lineup they did in Tuesday’s big win over the Lightning.
Here is how Nashville will hit the ice:
Rocco Grimaldi - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson
Calle Jarnkrok - Mikael Granlund - Luke Kunin
Rem Pitlick - Erik Haula - Nick Cousins
Yakov Trenin - Colton Sissons - Tanner Jeannot
Roman Josi - Matt Benning
Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis
Jeremy Davies - Ben Harpur
Injuries and Scratches: Luca Sbisa (upper body, IR), Matt Duchene (lower body, IR), Brad Richardson )lower body, IR), Mark Borowiecki (upper body, IR), Filip Forsberg (upper body, IR), Alexandre Carrier (lower body, IR), Eeli Tolvanen (lower body), Dante Fabbro (upper body), Mathieu Olivier (lower body)
Taxi Squad: Philip Tomasino, Michael McCarron, David Farrance, Tyler Lewington, Kasimir Kaskisuo