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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: Game two preview

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The Hurricanes will look to even this series at a game apiece.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Carolina Hurricanes - Game One Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes have never lost a second-round series in their team history. That’s unlikely to remain the case without a win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game two of this series tonight. While things would still be far from over in that case, dropping the first two games of the series at home and heading to Tampa Bay in an 0-2 hole would be a steep hill to climb.

The Canes will hope to replicate much of their game one effort, particularly a first period that saw them generate waves of chances against Andrei Vasilveskiy, who stood tall all game. The Canes ultimately lost a goaltender’s duel, as a rare blunder by Alex Nedeljkovic late in the third period stood up as the game winner.

Both Nedeljkovic’s teammates and Rod Brind’Amour have said that mistakes happen and Nedeljkovic simply needed to put it behind him and move on. The team will look to do the same in game two.

Here’s a look at how the Canes and Bolts 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 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

  • The Hurricanes will likely not see Nino Niederreiter in this series, as Rod Brind’Amour called him “very, very doubtful” to return. They’ll miss the Swiss forward’s power game and finishing touch, and others will have to step up in his absence.
  • A couple of Canes are close to moving up the franchise leader boards: Sebastian Aho’s next point will push him past Kevin Dineen for fourth all time in franchise playoff points. The Canes’ next win will move Rod Brind’Amour past Peter Laviolette for the second most wins by a coach in franchise history.
  • With an assist in game one, Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov has 12 points in seven playoff games, and hasn’t missed a beat since sitting out the entire regular season with a hip injury. Kucherov will definitely be someone for the Canes to have their eye on as this series goes along.
  • The Bolts are 10-2 all time in game twos after winning the first game of a series, a trend the Canes will hope to buck tonight.