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Carolina Hurricanes at Nashville Predators: Game Preview

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The Hurricanes will head into their final two games of the season with a shot at their first President’s Trophy in franchise history.

Carolina Hurricanes v Nashville Predators Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Well, and then there were two. It’s been a long road, but here we are, nearly at the end of a shortened season. All of the milestones have been met for the Carolina Hurricanes. They’re not only headed to their third consecutive post-season appearance, but they’ve also clinched their division for the first time since 2006. Sure, it’s a cobbled-together division which may not ever exist again, and many years from now, at least one of you is going to have to sit down with your kids and explain that weird year where the Hurricanes were seemingly inexplicably the winners of the Central Division. But still — it’s a pretty big deal.

While it’s tempting to look at these last two games against the Predators as just something to get through, topping the league outright is still within reach for the Hurricanes. And with a first round match-up against the Nashville Predators looking likely now, these games are the last chance for the Hurricanes’ players and coaching staff to get a look at Nashville before everything starts to count for real.

For the next to last time this season, let’s see how these 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 #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

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 Petr Mrazek Curtis McElhinney
Category Petr Mrazek Curtis McElhinney
Record 1-1-0 0-0-0
Save % .873 .000
GAA 3.90 0.00

Game Notes

  • If you’re looking for a player who you’d like to see get going, take a look at Vincent Trocheck. His last goal was April 15, conveniently against Nashville. He has six assists over his last 10 games. He’s also two assists away from 200 career assists.
  • Martin Necas has already beat his previous career high of 36 points last season; he needs two goals to match last year’s total. He’s got three goals in his last three games, the longest active streak by a Hurricanes player. Think he can do it?
  • The Predators have yet to score more than two goals in a game against the Hurricanes this season. The Predators have been outscored 23 to 9 in six games.
  • Speaking of Trockeck, he and Sebastian Aho share the team lead for points against the Predators with eight each. Mattias Ekholm and Dante Fabbro each have three points against the Hurricanes.
  • With their point against Chicago on Thursday, the Hurricanes maintained their points streak, currently sitting at 13 games. This ties the longest points streak in franchise history; if the Hurricanes pick up points in these last two games, they’ll tie the Colorado Avalanche for longest point streak this season.
  • Over the last month, the Predators have had nearly the worst power play in the league — since April 8, they’ve converted on just 5.9% of their chances. Things have been looking up slightly; over the past five games, the Predators have two power play goals. It’s something, I guess.