Thursday’s game was a get-right game for the Carolina Hurricanes against a basement-dwelling Philadelphia Flyers squad, and although the 1-0 scoreline flatters (to an extent) the Flyers, the Hurricanes were well in control for long stretches of the night. The timing was good, too: of the Canes’ next ten games, nine will be against current playoff teams, including each of the next four. That run begins tonight when the Vegas Golden Knights come to Raleigh looking to pair their win last week with another one, this one on the road.
- Could Jesse Puljujarvi finally make his Hurricanes debut tonight, almost two weeks after the trade that brought him to Raleigh? Rod Brind’Amour was noncommittal yesterday after practice, but Puljujarvi did take the warmup on Thursday. That would seem to indicate that he’ll play tonight, but without a morning skate, we’re left to guess.
- The Golden Knights won last Wednesday’s matchup in Vegas 3-2 on the strength of a pair of goals by Jack Eichel. Martin Necas and Jordan Staal scored for the Hurricanes.
- Pyotr Kochetkov registered his fourth shutout of the season on Thursday, so does he get the crease tonight? Conventional wisdom would have Frederik Andersen play tonight and Kochetkov tomorrow against the Devils, but if we know one thing about Rod Brind’Amour, we know he doesn’t like to mess with anything that’s working. It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Kochetkov lead the team out of the locker room tonight.
- As for the other crease, Jonathan Quick will make his third start for Vegas after his pair of trades at the deadline that saw him grab a cup of coffee in Columbus. Quick was the winning goaltender in Vegas’ 4-3 overtime win over the Lightning on Thursday. The Hurricanes beat Quick 4-2 in Los Angeles in December.
- Normally you’d think a 37-year-old goalie wouldn’t start both of these games, but the Knights have no other choice: they are down four (!) goaltenders at the moment, and Jiri Patera, who has never played a single second in an NHL crease, is the backup.
- If you missed it yesterday, the Hurricanes and Devils made a minor-league trade, with the Canes acquiring Jack Dugan from New Jersey for Zack Hayes. (If you are familiar with either of these players and are not members of their immediate family, friend, you are a better fan than I.)
- Tonight is the only game of the year where the Hurricanes will wear their Stadium Series threads indoors:
Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Seth Jarvis
Teuvo Teravainen - Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Martin Necas
Jordan Martinook - Jordan Staal - Jesper Fast
Stefan Noesen - Paul Stastny - Jesse Puljujarvi
Jaccob Slavin - Brent Burns
Brady Skjei - Brett Pesce
Calvin de Haan - Shayne Gostisbehere
Injuries and Scratches: Derek Stepan (healthy), Dylan Coghlan (healthy), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jalen Chatfield (upper body), Ondrej Kase (LTIR concussion), Max Pacioretty (LTIR Achilles)
Ivan Barbashev — Jack Eichel — Jonathan Marchessault
Paul Cotter — William Karlsson — Michael Amadio
Reilly Smith — Chandler Stephenson — Phil Kessel
Brett Howden — Teddy Blueger — Keegan Kolesar
Alec Martinez — Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb — Shea Theodore
Nic Hague — Zach Whitecloud
Injuries and Scratches: William Carrier (lower body), Nicolas Roy (lower body), Adin Hill (lower body), Logan Thompson (IR lower body), Laurent Brossoit (IR lower body), Mark Stone (LTIR back), Nolan Patrick (LTIR upper body), Robin Lehner (LTIR hip)
Referees: T.J. Luxmore #21, Kelly Sutherland #11
Linesmen: Libor Suchanek #60, Bryan Pancich #94