After not playing since Saturday, the Carolina Hurricanes will be hosting the Anaheim Ducks this evening at PNC Arena. This will be the second game of the 6 game homestand after losing to the St. Louis Blues in a shootout on January 6th.
The Canes had won six straight before the loss on Saturday but the Canes now have a 7-game point streak to defend this evening as the Western Conference foes come to Raleigh.
The Ducks defeated the Nashville Predators on Tuesday by a score of 5-3. Anaheim is on a long road trip which brings them up and down the East coast before heading back west to take on the San Jose Sharks.
Despite the recent victory, the Ducks have had a rough season with just 29 points. That is good for second to last in the Pacific Division and Western Conference. Anaheim has played better on the road with almost a .500 record of 8-9. This is a rebuilding team with a ton of talented youth.
Two former New York Rangers lead the way offensively for the Ducks. Frank Vatrano and Ryan Strome signed in Anaheim from New York to provide some veteran help. Vatrano has had a breakout season with 19 goals and 29 points to lead the team. Strome leads the team in assists with 17.
Mason McTavish is the franchise's future and is producing 27 points and 12 goals. Defensive stalwart, Cam Fowler anchors the defense and has put up 18 points. The Ducks do not provide much offense from the point but have some physicality in new member, Radko Gudas. Always looking to make a big hit, the Canes will need to keep their head up when crossing the red line.
In goal, the Ducks have traded rumor star, John Gibson. Anytime you look at an NHL trade rumor, you will surely see Gibson's name attached. Gibson is a solid goaltender and nothing has changed this year with a 2.97 GAA and .903 save percentage.
It may take some time for the Canes to shake off the rust and get back into the game shape but this should be a good test for them to come out of the break.