The Tampa Bay Lightning make the trip to PNC Arena and meet the Hurricanes

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 04: Sebastian Aho #20 of the Carolina Hurricanes attempts to shoot the puck past Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Save Streak event during the 2022 NHL All-Star Skills at T-Mobile Arena on February 04, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 04: Sebastian Aho #20 of the Carolina Hurricanes attempts to shoot the puck past Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Save Streak event during the 2022 NHL All-Star Skills at T-Mobile Arena on February 04, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 04: Sebastian Aho #20 of the Carolina Hurricanes attempts to shoot the puck past Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Save Streak event during the 2022 NHL All-Star Skills at T-Mobile Arena on February 04, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 04: Sebastian Aho #20 of the Carolina Hurricanes attempts to shoot the puck past Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Save Streak event during the 2022 NHL All-Star Skills at T-Mobile Arena on February 04, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

After dropping their fourth game in a row, the Hurricanes will host the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup Champions as they receive a visit from the Tampa bay Lightning. This is the first of two games a week apart. The only previous meeting between these two teams came back in November, Carolina won 2-1 in overtime as the Hurricanes had a couple of goals disallowed.

These two teams have been incredibly close when they’ve clashed in the past. This is a game where Carolina will need to win if they want to show that they’re still one of the best teams in the NHL. They will need to set that benchmark against the best team in the NHL from the last two seasons as the Tampa Bay Lightning come to town with some big new additions added to the Lightning roster.

Carolina will get to see Brandon Hagel and Nick Paul in Tampa Bay jerseys tonight as the Lightning added these two before the NHL trade deadline yesterday. Carolina’s addition will not be in the lineup tonight so it’s going to be the tried and trusted Hurricanes roster against this new-look Tampa Bay Lightning roster. Carolina’s roster did receive additions but they will not be active in the roster.

We know this is going to be a rough game for Carolina, but the team has gone 0-3-1 in its last four and its lead at the top of the NHL’s Metropolitan Division standings is shrinking. Carolina needs two points in this one if they’re going to get back to the win column and the team needs this result. They need to win tonight no matter how they play. With this nine-game stretch being a rough one, they’re not getting any easier.

Question for Cardiac Cane Readers: What do you think the score will be?

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