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Carolina Hurricanes @ St. Louis Blues: Game Preview

The two teams face off for the first time since November.

St. Louis Blues v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

One of the biggest question marks for the St. Louis Blues this season was Vladimir Tarasenko, who had made a trade request over the off-season. The star forward was unhappy with the way his injuries had been handled. The Blues went so far as to leave him unprotected in the expansion draft — and imagine that alternate universe where Seattle actually selected Tarasenko.

No trade ever materialized, however, and speculation that Tarasenko would sit out and force the Blues’ hand never amounted to anything. Instead, Tarasenko came to training camp ready to work and is putting together an outstanding season. Tarasenko is second on the team in points (55), and trails only Jordan Kyrou and David Perron in goals (21). Not bad for someone who hasn’t played anything even close to a full season of hockey since the 2018-19 season (76 games).

So if you fantasized about Tarasenko being offloaded to somewhere else — somewhere that maybe he wouldn’t be quite so dangerous with the puck, perhaps — well, those hopes seem pretty dashed. The Blues’ general manager said that Tarasenko seems happy with the current situation and that there are no current concerns.

So it is, then, that we meet the Blues, winners of just three of their last ten games. They’ve underperformed against bad teams, most recently turning in a 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. They’ve also lost to the Blue Jackets, Senators, Devils, and Islanders in that span, and coach Craig Berube said that their poor record against bad teams is due to “arrogance”.

Ouch.

Needless to say, the Blues will be motivated to right the ship and what better team to do it against than one of the top teams in the league? 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

  • The Hurricanes and Blues have met up once previously this season. The Hurricanes turned in a 3-2 win in November with goals from Brady Skjei, Sebastian Aho, and Brendan Smith. Alex Lyon backstopped the team to a win.
  • David Perron currently has an active eight-game point streak. In that time, he has ten goals and four assists.
  • Tyler Bozak will miss at least four weeks of time due to a lower body injury. Torey Krug is considered week-to-week with an upper body injury.
  • A lot of milestones coming up for the Hurricanes. Newcomer Max Domi is one goal away from 100 career goals. Jordan Staal is two points back of 600 career points, and Jaccob Slavin is two points away from 200 career points.
  • Brady Skjei and Andrei Svechnikov both celebrate birthdays on Saturday. Fun!