Finally, the end is in sight for the Carolina Hurricanes’ longest road trip of the season.
Sure, they’ve been home here and there for a night or two during this run of road games. But at this point, I think we’re safe to assume that they won’t mind sleeping in their own bed for an extended period. Between that and a never-ending supply of hotel meals, one would think that life on the road has probably worn out its welcome.
So, off to Detroit, then, and the first matchup of three this season between the Canes and the Fightin’ Yzerplans. To the surprise of no one who has watched his coaching preferences over the past four-plus seasons, Rod Brind’Amour is sticking with what worked very well on Saturday against the Islanders. That means no morning skate, no Sebastian Aho or Jesper Fast, and another likely start for Pyotr Kochetkov.
Here’s how the Canes will take the ice as they look to finish off a road trip with points in all six games:
Seth Jarvis - Paul Stastny - Martin Necas
Andrei Svechnikov - Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Teuvo Teravainen
Jordan Martinook - Jordan Staal - _____________
Derek Stepan - Jack Drury - Stefan Noesen
Jaccob Slavin - Brent Burns
Brady Skjei - Brett Pesce
Calvin de Haan - Jalen Chatfield
Injuries and Scratches: Sebastian Aho (lower body), Jesper Fast (undisclosed), Frederik Andersen (IR lower body), Max Pacioretty (LTIR Achilles), Ondrej Kase (IR concussion)
The Red Wings have hit a rough patch lately, coinciding with a raft of injuries that has significantly cut into their pool of available players. Most of the heavy hitters — Dylan Larkin, Dominik Kubalik, Filip Hronek, et al. — are fine, but the Wings are without Tyler Bertuzzi and, now, Olli Maatta, who joined the ranks of the walking wounded when he was ruled out tonight and tomorrow due to a non-Covid illness. (My kingdom for not needing to differentiate between types of illnesses on a lineup report.)
It appears that the Hurricanes will avoid a matchup with old friend Alex Nedeljkovic tonight, with Ville Husso expected to get the call for Detroit in net. You don’t need me to tell you to keep an eye on Larkin, who is seeing his free agency value rise with every passing day that he sits atop the Wings’ scoring table, but Adam Erne, for some reason, also deserves your attention: the five goals and eight points he’s tallied in 14 career games against Carolina are the most he’s scored against any team.
Here’s how the Wings will look tonight:
David Perron - Dylan Larkin - Lucas Raymond
Pius Suter - Michael Rasmussen - Dominik Kubalik
Adam Erne - Andrew Copp - Oskar Sundqvist
Jonatan Berggren - Joe Veleno - Austin Czarnik
Ben Chiarot - Moritz Seider
Jake Walman - Filip Hronek
Jordan Oesterle - Gustav Lindstrom
Injuries and Scratches: Magnus Hellberg (healthy), Olli Maatta (illness), Robert Hagg (undisclosed), Jakub Vrana (NHL/NHLPA PAP), Tyler Bertuzzi (IR hand), Mark Pysyk (IR Achilles), Matt Luff (IR wrist), Filip Zadina (IR lower body), Robby Fabbri (IR knee)
Referees: Trevor Hanson #14, Tom Chmielewski #18
Linesmen: Libor Suchanek #60, Dan Kelly #98