Well, this is going to be a very atypical showdown between the Hurricanes and Bruins. Tuukka Rask has officially retired as of Wednesday, Brad Marchand is reportedly being suspended for six games and Patrice Bergeron will miss Thursday’s game due to an upper-body injury he sustained against Pittsburgh. Three players that have historically dominated the Hurricanes in the past are all out of the lineup. Still, Boston remains a dangerous team with the likes of Taylor Hall, David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy. The Hurricanes have outscored the Bruins 10-1 this season, so Boston will be eager to try and get things going early on.
Carolina is coming off of tough losses to Toronto and Ottawa. While the third period of Ottawa’s game might have been the Hurricanes’ best in quite some time, it wasn’t enough to erase an ugly 4-0 deficit. Penalties have been a major issue for this team, as it seems they’re on a parade to the box every game. Players such as Vincent Trocheck and Ian Cole seem to have appointments with the penalty box at least once or twice a night, killing any sort of momentum that the Hurricanes were generating at even strength. You cannot let a team like Boston get too many power play chances. Even without Bergeron and Marchand, the Bruins are still lethal on the power play.
Teuvo Teravainen will likely be a game-time decision for the Hurricanes. He has missed a handful of games due to injury and the team has sorely missed his presence. He has always been a quiet point producer in the offensive zone and provides solid defensive play, but when he’s out of the lineup, you notice it immediately. Getting Teravainen back would be a huge boost for the top six and would help balance out the lines a little more since Jesperi Kotkaniemi is still in protocol.
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- Antti Raanta is one win away from his 100th career NHL win
- Derek Stepan needs one more point to reach 500 career points
- Thursday’s game against Boston will be Jordan Martinook’s 200th game with the Hurricanes
- Andrei Svechnikov has been fantastic recently, with goals in three of his last four games and 18 points in his last 15 games.
- After a slow start to the season, Vincent Trocheck has turned it around. He has 18 points in his last 22 games and he ranks third on the team in scoring since the new year.
- Nino Niederreiter has six points in his last nine games. Nice.