The Carolina Hurricanes (30-30-9) will look to keep their slim playoff hopes alive on Friday night when they play the Chicago Blackhawks (40-15-15) on the road at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports: Carolinas and broadcasted on the radio on 99.9 FM The Fan
The Chicago Blackhawks are coming off a 4-0 shutout win over the NHL leading St. Louis Blues. The Carolina Hurricanes fell to the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in a shootout back on October 15 in Raleigh in their only previous meeting this season.
Carolina Hurricanes Lineup: (as of 3/20)
Eric Staal – Jordan Staal – Alexander Semin
Jeff Skinner – Riley Nash – Chris Terry
Nathan Gerbe – Andrei Loktionov – Patrick Dwyer
Drayson Bowman – Manny Malhotra – Radek Dvorak
Andrej Sekera – Brett Bellemore
Ron Hainsey – Ryan Murphy
Jay Harrison – Mike Komisarek
Injuries and scratches (as of 3/20): Elias Lindholm (illness), Jiri Tlusty (lower-body injury), Justin Faulk (illness), John-Michael Liles (concussion).
Note: All 4 injured Carolina Hurricanes players practiced on March 20th, so many of them may be in the lineup for Friday’s game.
Chicago Blackhawks Lineup:
Patrick Sharp – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell – Peter Regin – Patrick Kane
Kris Versteeg – Andrew Shaw – Brandon Saad
Brandon Bollig – Marcus Kruger – Ben Smith
Duncan Keith – Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya – Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy – Michal Rozsival
Corey Crawford/Antti Raanta
Injuries and scratches: Michal Handzus, Sheldon Brookbank, David Rundblad, Nikolai Khabibulin (Healthy)
Carolina Hurricanes Outlook:
The Carolina Hurricanes are coming off a big win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. They beat their division rival 3-1, and their slim playoff hopes remained alive. The Carolina Hurricanes relied heavily on goaltender Anton Khudobin who stopped 46 of 47 Blue Jackets shots.
Nathan Gerbe, Andrei Loktionov, and Patrick Dwyer all scored for the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. All of those players are bottom-six players, and the Carolina Hurricanes will need the help of the bottom-six to win games. If the Canes can get good offense from the bottom-six, they will have a good chance to beat a very good Blackhawks team.
While Justin Faulk, Elias Lindholm, and Jiri Tlusty, are all still labeled as injured, they practiced on March 20, so there is a good chance that some, if not all, of them will return to the lineup against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Chicago Blackhawks Outlook:
The Chicago Blackhawks are coming off a very impressive win on Wednesday when they beat the St. Louis Blues 4-0. Their offensive charge was led by forward Patrick Sharp and defenseman Nick Leddy who put up 2 assists each against the Blues.
Players like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, and Duncan Keith have had terrific years, and they showed that when they won the Gold Medal in the Sochi Winter Olympics in February. If the Carolina Hurricanes can’t contain those players, they will have a very tough time beating the Chicago Blackhawks.
Corey Crawford has been a very solid starting goalie all year for the Chicago Blackhawks. If he gets the net against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Canes will have to work for their opportunities and score when they can. Backup goalie Antti Raanta has also been a solid backup goalie to Crawford for most of the season. The Chicago Blackhawks have not yet announced their starting goalie for the game.