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Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning: Game Four Preview

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The Hurricanes look to even up the series today.

NHL: JUN 03 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round - Hurricanes at Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes, who have seen more than their fair share of overtime this post-season, got their first win of the series this week, but it took the extra minutes to seal the deal. But it only takes one win to get a metaphorical ball rolling, right?

The Hurricanes went into game three knowing they needed to walk away with a win, and they made one significant change that helped get the job done: swapping goaltenders to give Petr Mrazek his first game action since May 10. Sure, it raised some eyebrows as the goalie swap came on the same day as Alex Nedeljkovic’s Calder nomination, but it worked, didn’t it? Even if it wasn’t goaltending per se that was giving the Hurricanes trouble — it was the total inability to remember how to score goals — sometimes you just need to change things up.

Anyway, all of the goaltending swaps and timely goals in the world won’t matter if the Hurricanes continue to be impacted by injuries to their top forwards. There aren’t really logical replacements for Nino Niederreiter and Vincent Trocheck, which puts more pressure on players like Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal, the team’s leading goal scorers in the playoffs.

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

  • Andrei Svechnikov has points in all three games of this series (one goal, two assists), good for the longest active points streak on the team.
  • Speaking of Svechnikov, 17 of his 18 career playoff points have been recorded in the first three games of a series. Here’s to hoping today’s game changes that trend.
  • On the Tampa Bay Lightning side, the only player missing due to injury is defenseman David Savard, who has missed the past three games witn an upper-body injury.
  • When it comes to overtime, Jordan Staal’s been the hero this season, as he has two of the three team’s game winning overtime goals this year. The Hurricanes have gone to overtime five times so far this post-season, including four consecutive overtime games against the Predators.
  • Sebastian Aho has four multi-point games in this year’s playoffs; his next multi-point effort will see him leapfrog Ron Francis for the most in franchise history.