Time: 7:30 PM EST
Place: Little Caesars Arena
TV: BSDET, BSSO
Radio: WXYT-97.1 FM
Hurricanes Blog: Canes Country
After an outing for the history books on Saturday where the Red Wings came up short of a comeback for the history books against the Leafs, falling 10-7, Detroit hosts Carolina tonight following a couple of day off to regroup.
Carolina beat Detroit back in December 5-3 in their only matchup so far this season. The Hurricanes are one of the league’s elite teams this year. They rank 5th on the powerplay at 25.2%, 1st on the penalty kill at 90.2%, 6th in scoring at 3.48 GF/G, and 1st in defense allowing only 2.35 GA/G. They trail only Colorado in terms of points percentage. Pretty much any way you cut it, Carolina is primed for a deep run come playoff time. They are the latest powerhouse in a tough second half schedule for Detroit.
It’s a stiff challenge for a Red Wing team that will soon long forget the relaxed schedule they saw in February. The time off did serve players like Raymond and Seider well who seem to have stepped up once again after getting some rest. The 82 game schedule is likely going to take a toll on them. Dylan Larkin remains hot with 9 points in his last 5 games. In practice it appeared Blashill may be opting to end the Zadina experiment playing alongside Larkin and Raymond. On Monday Namestnikov was taking line rushes in that place. Zadina has 2 goals in his past 5 games but was held pointless in Saturday’s score fest.
On the back end, both Danny DeKeyser and Gustav Lindstrom may find themselves watching from the press box tonight based on practice pairings on Monday. After giving up 10 on Saturday, albeit goaltending having to share a large portion of blame as well, it makes sense for Blashill to add both Oesterle and Stecher back to the lineup.
Nedeljkovic is the presumed starter but between him and Greiss it’s likely both want to quickly erase any memory of that last game. Nedeljkovic has fallen back down to earth lately with Greiss eating back into a more even share of starts as the younger netminder tries to regain his form that allowed him to take control of the net for a couple of months.
Carolina will be without top defensive scorer Tony DeAngelo after he was injured last week and set to be out for a month or so. They’ll also likely be without a familiar face in Detroit with Brendan Smith nursing an injury. The blue line will still feature the formidable Jacob Slavin who has racked up 29 points while eating 23:52 each night.
The Hurricanes will be backstopped by Andersen who has quietly had a terrific season with a .930 SV% as Carolina’s go to goaltender. Carolina goaltenders have benefitted from their strong defense for awhile now but Anderson has fit in very well.
Up front Carolina has one of the most dangerous trios in the league in the form of Svechnikov, Aho, and Teravainen. The first two have already scored over 50 points this season with Teravainen not far behind. The Hurricanes are also deep throughout their lines with the likes of Trochek, Necas, and Niederreiter all threats to score.
This game could very well be tilted towards Detroit’s end for a lot of the night. They’ll need their goaltending to be a factor, and a much improved defensive effort to keep this one close.