Carolina will close out their homestand tonight as they start another back-to-back against the two Pennsylvania teams. Tonight, it’s the Philadelphia Flyers that will be the new boys at PNC Arena. Carolina is 11-0-1 in their last 12 in Raleigh, and they look to extend their home point streak to 13 against a team that has struggled immensely this season as the Flyers and Hurricanes complete the season series.
Philadelphia got the better of the Canes at PNC Arena back on November 13th, but that was a long time ago. Carolina won both games at the Wells Fargo Center in the city of brotherly love and is looking to make it three out of four against the team that is currently sitting at the bottom of the NHL’s Metropolitan Division. Philadelphia has suffered immense struggles and Carolina can expose that.
Philadelphia is a team that has struggled more than anything with putting the puck in the net. With rumors going around that the Flyers are also looking to overhaul their blueline, the winds of change are blowing in Philadelphia and the Hurricanes have a chance to go out and end their homestand with two more points. Two points tonight would push them back to 8 points clear at the top of the Metro with a game in hand and the Penguins being their opponent tomorrow.
As far as I am aware at this moment, we’re expecting an unchanged lineup as far as the skaters go. What we do know will be different is the netminder. Antti Raanta has been playing very well in the absence of all-star Frederik Andersen, but the Dane is ready to take the crease back and the Vezina candidate is expected to play half of this back-to-back. Whether it’s the former or the latter, we’ll find out.
Carolina goes into tonight’s game after the gutsy display it took from them to top the league-leading Colorado Avalanche at PNC Arena on Thursday night. They have a chance to get themselves ahead of the Avalanche in terms of the President’s trophy race, they can start to put a real chokehold on the Metropolitan Division title, and start to pull away in the Eastern Conference. There’s a lot to play for in Raleigh.