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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Nashville Predators: Game Preview

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The Hurricanes look to remain undefeated against Nashville.

Nashville Predators v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

After two consecutive losses to the Detroit Red Wings, a team which the Carolina Hurricanes have inexplicably been unable to solve this season, there’s nothing like the potential pick-me-up of facing the Nashville Predators. To date, the Hurricanes have won all five of their games against the Predators.

Nashville has been red hot lately, winning seven of its last 10 games, but the Hurricanes still seem to have the Preds’ number, with Thursday’s game being yet another piece of evidence to back that up. The Predators seem to be on their way to locking up that final playoff spot, and if I were the Hurricanes, I wouldn’t be too upset if the standings stayed exactly how they are now — a first round matchup against the Predators while the Florida teams tire each other out could be a strong way to start the playoffs.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s a game to get through; two points and an increased lead over the Floridas are on the line tonight. Let’s see how Nashville and Carolina match 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 Predators are playing with a highly depleted roster at the moment. Nine players are currently listed as out, with no return in sight for many of them. If you keep tabs on the Chicago Wolves, you’ll recognize several names filling in on the Nashville roster at the moment: Tanner Jeannot, Rem Pitlick and Jeremy Davies have all spent time mingling with Hurricanes prospects in the AHL prior to their call-ups. Phil Tomasino has also been on the Predators’ taxi squad, but is yet to get in an NHL game.
  • In his first game for the Hurricanes, defenseman Jani Hakanpää had 14:48 in ice time, taking on third pairing duties with Jake Bean. The fancy stats don’t look great for the Bean/Hakanpää pairing — per Natural Stat Trick, they had a 33.33% Corsi For at even strength — but the new defenseman did bring his heavy-hitting hockey that made him a fan favorite in Anaheim.
  • Sebastian Aho’s next point will be his 40th of the season, putting him at just under a point per game pace.
  • It’s not just this season: the Hurricanes have traditionally done well against the Predators. They are 20-12-1-3 against the Predators all-time. The last time the Predators defeated the Hurricanes was a 3-0 shutout on Nov. 29, 2019.
  • This has absolutely nothing to do with this game, but while trying to figure out where that one tie in the record came from (it was January 23, 2002), I learned that the Hurricanes had the last tie in the NHL before the rules changed. They tied the Florida Panthers in the last game of the 2003-04 season. The more you know!