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Game Preview: Hurricanes at Avalanche

The Canes must dig deep tonight.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Seattle Kraken Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

After their worst game of the season, the Carolina Hurricanes travel to Denver to take on the undefeated Avalanche.

Seattle earned their first win of the season with a fast start in the first period that the Canes could not overcome.

The Carolina defense, the strength of last year’s team, remains a liability so far this season.

Despite outshooting the Kraken in the first period, the Canes faltered on special teams in the later half of the first.

Carolina pulled it within one in the third, but that was all the Canes could muster against Seattle.

The new defense is struggling so far, and as of writing, there is uncertainty with the lineup. Needless to say, Sebastian Aho’s absence is hurting this lineup.

Here; ‘s what head coach Rod Brind’Amour had to say after the game:

We got back in the game, give the guys credit for that. But again, it’s the same things. We’re not sharp defensively right now. We’re just taking little breathers. It’s just killing us. Strange, because we’ve been doing this for a long time and doing it really well. This five-game segment, we don’t have it figured out. We’ve got to get better at it. We’re scoring enough and we’re getting enough changes. We’re going to create enough offense, but we’re definitely giving up way too much.

Outside of Jordan Staal’s line, there was not much to celebrate besides Seth Jarvis. This is what the captain had to say about the effort:

It’s just become a 50/50 game, the way that we’re playing. We’re just kind of hoping we’re going to outscore a team, that we’re going to get more chances and that we’re going to beat them with our skill. It’s just not working. It’s pretty evident. We just have to find a better recipe of grinding teams out and really play the way we’re supposed to be playing. We’ve seen it in spurts, but we haven’t seen enough of it.

Tonight will be the biggest test of the young season.

Colorado goaltender Alexandar Georgiev is on fire this season. He is undefeated through all four games with a 0.98 GAA and a .965 save percentage.

The stars are doing their job for the Avalanche. Mikko Rantanen is tied for third in the league with seven points, while Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar have four points each.

The same night Carolina lost to winless Seattle, Colorado shut out Chicago.

Georgiev’s shutout was the first of the season and 14th in the NHL.

Devon Toews had a goal and an assist, while Ryan Johansen scored his first goal with the Avalanche.

Here’s how to check out the action tonight:

  • Time: 9:00 PM ET
  • Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
  • TV: Bally Sports South with Mike Maniscalco, play-by-play; Tripp Tracy, color analyst; Hanna Yates, in-game reporter; Shane Willis, analyst.
  • Radio: 99.9 The Fan
  • Streaming: Bally Sports Plus
  • Line: ML: COL -135; PL: CAR +1.5 -205