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Carolina Hurricanes @ Minnesota Wild: Game Preview

The Hurricanes look to continue the good vibes after their win over the Bruins.

Minnesota Wild v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

The Hurricanes have already gotten a few games under their belt as they returned from the All-Star break and immediately headed out on the road. They’re 1-1-1 this week, with the biggest blemish being yet another loss to the Ottawa Senators. Their trouncing of the Boston Bruins more than makes up for their Ottawa-based woes, anyway.

The team heads now to Minnesota to wrap up this trip, taking on the Minnesota Wild. The Wild currently sit in third place in the Central Division with 59 points. While the Avalanche are running away with that division, the rest of the standings are close, with just eight points separating second place (Nashville) and fifth (Dallas).

Unsurprisingly, the Wild are led once again by Kirill Kaprizov. Fresh off of a charming performance in the All-Star Skills Competition, Kaprizov has 53 points in 41 games and is on pace to record well over 100 points this season. The Hurricanes have yet to face off against the young star, who brings a level of excitement and creativity to the Wild that the team has long been missing.

Of course, the Hurricanes are a team filled with dynamic scorers of their own, who will look to make life tough on the Wild. Goaltenders Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen have largely split time this season. While Talbot has the better record (18-8-1), Kahkonen has the better stats (2.44 GAA, .924 Sv %) and has wins in four of his last five games. (Granted, those games were against Chicago, Montreal, and the Islanders.)

With the Wild having played just one game in the past week, will they have some rust to shake off? Let’s see how the teams compare before puck drop:

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Bruins
Category Hurricanes Bruins
Record 54-20-8 51-26-5
Goals/Game 3.38 3.08
Goals Against/Game 2.44 2.66
Shots/Game 34.12 36.12
Face Off Win % 53.9% 54.2%
Power Play % (Rank) 22.0% (13th) 21.2% (15th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 88.0% (1st) 81.3% (9th)
ES Corsi For % 43.86% 56.14%
ES PDO 113.44 86.56
PIM/Game 12:00 22:00

Goaltender #1

Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Record 35-14-3 26-10-2
Save % .922 .917
GAA 2.17 2.45

Goaltender #2

Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Record 15-5-4 23-14-3
Save % .912 .914
GAA 2.45 2.41

Game Notes

  • This is the first time the Wild and Hurricanes have met this season. The last time these two teams met was on December 7, 2019. The Hurricanes swept the season series that year.
  • Freddie Andersen is 6-3-0 against the Wild in his career, with a 0.920 save percentage and 2.36 goals against average.
  • Derek Stepan’s next point will be his 500th point in the NHL.
  • The Wild will be without the services of Nick Bjugstad and Matt Dumba, both on injured reserve for upper body injuries.
  • Marcus Foligno will also be out of the lineup; he’s been suspended two games for kneeing Adam Lowry in a game against the Winnipeg Jets on February 8. This is Foligno’s first career suspension.
  • Prior to going pointless in the Wild’s last game, Kirill Kaprizov had a 12-game point streak. He has had 15 multi-point games this season.