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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Edmonton Oilers: Game Preview and Hub

That McDavid, so hot right now.

Carolina Hurricanes v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Raise your hand if you’re surprised that a team that decided to lean heavily on Mike Smith in goal is having issues?

Okay, okay, the Oilers’ season can’t all be pinned on goaltending, but the team isn’t getting the big saves that they need to get them through a game. Outscoring your problems might be easy when you’re facing teams that are offensively challenged, but what does it mean when you’re up against one of the most potent offenses in the league?

The Oilers faced that issue last night and squeaked by with a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers, the highest scoring team in the league (4.08 goals per game). Goaltender Mikko Koskinen had one of his finest performances of the season, and our friends over at Copper and Blue are saying the Oilers should consider starting him again tonight, particularly given how little he’s played this month.

For the Hurricanes, it likely doesn’t matter who’s in net. They’re coming in off of a commanding win over the Blue Jackets on Friday, looking for their fifth straight win. This is the sixth time this season that the Hurricanes have been sitting on a winning streak of four or more games.

A win tonight helps keep the Hurricanes atop the Metropolitan Division; Pittsburgh currently sits in second, four points behind the Hurricanes. The Penguins tonight face off against the Blue Jackets, and the third place Rangers play against the Canucks, so two points for the Hurricanes are crucial to help put some distance between them and the rest of the pack.

For the last time this season, let’s see how the Oilers and Hurricanes 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 final time the Hurricanes will face the Oilers this season. Their previous matchup was a 3-1 Hurricanes win on December 11.
  • This is the Oilers first time playing in Raleigh since February 16, 2020. They once again came to Raleigh on the second half of a back-to-back, having played the Panthers the previous night. The Oilers won their last game here with a score of 4-3 in overtime.
  • Teuvo Teravainen currently is on a seven-game point streak, the longest current scoring streak on the team.
  • Derek Stepan is still in search of his 500th NHL point. He’s been in and out of the lineup, with his last game coming on February 21, so he may still be searching for a while.
  • Shocking: Connor McDavid once again leads the league in points, with 75 in 51 games. Jonathan Huberdeau also has 75, so McDavid’s got to share some of the spotlight for now. Oilers teammate Leon Draisaitl is right behind them with 74 points.
  • Former Hurricane Derek Ryan, now with the Oilers, recorded his first career hat trick last night.
  • Key to the game? Score first. The Oilers are currently 16-0-0 when scoring first, and are 15-0-0 when leading after the first period.
  • Today is Kids Day at the game, featuring kids singing the anthem, a ton of mascots in attendance, kids sounding the siren, a special playlist, and more. Sorry in advance for how many times you’ll all have to endure Baby Shark or something.

Projected Lineup

Carolina Hurricanes

Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teräväinen
Seth Jarvis - Vincent Trocheck - Martin Necas
Nino Niederreiter - Jordan Staal - Jesper Fast
Steven Lorentz - Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Jordan Martinook

Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
Brady Skjei - Jalen Chatfield
Ian Cole - Ethan Bear

Freddie Andersen

Edmonton Oilers

Ryan McLeod - Connor McDavid - Zach Hyman
Evander Kane - Leon Draisaitl - Kailer Yamamoto
Warren Foegele - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Derek Ryan
Devin Shore - Colton Sceviour - Tyler Benson

Darnell Nurse - Tyson Barrie
William Lagesson - Cody Ceci
Markus Niemelainen - Evan Bouchard

Mike Smith

Out: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (upper body, questionable to play), Jesse Puljujarvi (lower body), Kyle Turris, Duncan Keith (concussion), Zack Kassian (jaw), Kris Russel