The Carolina Hurricanes (11-12-5) will finish their two-game road trip tonight when they take on the Nashville Predators (13-12-3) at 7 ET. The game will be televised on Sport South and on the radio at 99.9 FM The Fan.Hurricanes Lineup Nathan Gerbe – Eric Staal – Tuomo Ruutu Jiri Tlusty – Jordan Staal – Patrick Dwyer Jeff Skinner – Riley Nash – Elias Lindholm Drayson Bowman – Manny Malhotra – Radek Dvorak Justin Faulk – Andrej Sekera Ron Hainsey – Ryan Murphy Jay Harrison – Mike Komisarek Cam Ward/Justin Peters Scratches: Alex Semin, Brett Bellemore, Anton Khudobin and Tim Gleason (Injured). Kevin Westgarth (Healthy). Predators Lineup Colin Wilson – Mike Fisher – Patric Hornqvist Gabriel Bourque – David Legwand – Viktor Stalberg Nick Spaling – Matt Cullen – Craig Smith Eric Nystrom – Paul Gaustad – Matt Hendricks Seth Jones – Roman Josi Victor Bartley – Ryan Ellis Mattias Ekholm – Joe Piskula Marek Mazanek/Carter Hutton Scratched: Shea Weber, Pekka Rinne and Filip Forsberg (Injured). Kevin Klein (Could play). Rich Clune (Healthy).
Hurricanes Outlook: The Canes won their last game and in commanding fashion as they cruised to a 4-1 win over the Capitals. Jeff Skinner led the team with two goals and one assist, while Justin Peters made 26 saves to earn the win.
However, it was not all good news for the Hurricanes as Brett Bellemore took a rough hit in the game and was sent back to Raleigh due to a stiff neck and will not be able to play tonight.
Ryan Murphy will reenter the lineup to replace Bellemore, but without the rookie and Tim Gleason, the Canes bottom four will have a new look. Gleason skated yesterday, but Kirk Muller said he would need a few more days of practice before he’s ready for a game.
With Peters earning the win against the Caps, it’s possible he gets the start again tonight if Muller decides to stay with the hot goaltender.
The Hurricanes played a great team game in Washington and were able to create chances on offense. The team can’t take tonight off and need to play like it did in the last game.
Predators Outlook: The Preds have not recorded a win in their last three games, but earned a point against the Flyers last Saturday.
A main reason for Nashville’s lack of success lately is a heavy number of injuries, especially on defense. Shea Weber got hit with a puck and will miss tonight’s game, while Kevin Klein has missed the last two, but could play tonight.
Pekka Rinne is also injured, but rookie Marek Mazanek has filled in admirably for the Finn and won the Rookie of the Month Award for November.
Right now, the Predators defense is in a lot of trouble. Roman Josi has the most experience with 118 games. Seth Jones has played great this season, but the team’s bottom four is filled with inexperienced young d-men that could be taken advantage of.