Carolina Hurricanes (24-21-7) vs Dallas Stars (21-24-10)
The Carolina Hurricanes take on the Dallas Stars today at the American Airlines Center. This is the first matchup between the two teams and is an important game for the Hurricanes. The Canes will start their bye week after today’s game and they’ve been on a roller coaster the past several weeks. They followed up a four-game win streak with a five-game losing streak, and then another three-game win streak. A win today would give the Canes a chance to go into the bye week on a positive note. The Hurricanes need to reset and come back after this week off and make a strong push if they’re going to make the postseason.
Game Day By the Numbers
|5-0 L @ WSH
|3-2 L @ OTT
It’s hard to say that anyone is hot after the 5-0 flubbing against the Capitals. The offensive production for the Canes is streaky at best this season. They’ll go three or four games with four or more goals, and then go five games with two or fewer goals. The inconsistent production is the reason they Hurricanes aren’t sitting in a playoff spot right now.
The one thing that is keeping the Hurricanes afloat is the penalty kill. Right now the PK sits at 86.5% which is good for first in the league. The PK numbers have taken a hit recently playing against the Blue Jackets three times, the Capitals twice, and the Penguins twice in the last nineteen games. For the kill to still be atop of the league after facing those teams that often over the past month and a half is impressive. If the Hurricanes want any chance at playing in the postseason, the penalty kill will have to keep carrying the Canes.
Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask have both been invisible recently. Rask is on a ten-game point drought, and Skinner only has two points over that same frame. This team absolutely depends on those two to produce in order for the team to be successful. As of late, the Hurricanes have depended on Aho to pick up the slack up front. Leaning on a rookie to carry the offensive production is not sustainable, though, and Rask and Skinner need to find their game.
The Hurricanes are five points out of the last wild-card spot, with four games in hand on the Bruins. The Canes also have games in hand on most teams ahead of them and will continue to rack up the games in hand over their bye week. While the Hurricanes sit close to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, there is still plenty of hope for our boys in red.
After splitting Rask and Skinner up, Bill Peters is putting them back together to try to find some chemistry again. Peters is keeping the Aho-Staal-Lindholm together which is the line the Canes have relied upon for the past couple of weeks.
Ward is back in the net after Lack made his first start coming back from a series of concussions. Ward should be well rested and I expect him to look sharp.
How To Watch
American Airlines Arena: Puck Drop at 2:00 pm ET
Watch: Fox Sports Carolinas / Fox Sports Go app
Listen: 99.9 FM The Fan / WRALsportsfan.com