Hurricanes And Red Wings Face Off On A Friday Night In Raleigh

Detroit comes into Raleigh tied for fourth in the Atlantic Division and one point behind Toronto. Carolina is third, with three points between them and the second place Philadelphia Flyers. Both teams could use the points from a regulation win, but will settle for any points they get.
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The Red Wings are on a three game win streak coming off an upset 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday. Florida managed to throttle the Wings for the majority of the game and Detroit trailed 2-1 into the third. With under 14 minutes to go in the third the Red Wings tied it up and sent the game into overtime.

Carolina's loss to the Kings on the 15th was a lack luster effort, but given the level of play seen in their OT win over the Penguins, and a thumping on the Ducks of Anaheim, and breather game was almost expected.

Injuries, at this point in the season, are starting to factor in and both teams are coming in dealing with several. The Red Wings will be without goalie Ville Husso while Jake Walman is day-to-day. Husso left Detroit's game on against the Ducks on the 18th having faced only 8 shots, make 6 saves. Defenseman Jake Walman has provided 9 goals and 17 points on the year but has been out since the 11th.

Carolina will likely have Martin Necas back after an extended injury that has kept him from playing since January 2nd. Necas' year started out great for the Canes, but of late has slowed to an uncharacteristic pace. More so than Necas making his way back on the ice, the lack of Pyotr Kochetkov in net for Carolina is the biggest news. Kochetkov has skated in practice twice since leaving the ice against Anaheim with a concussion. Compounding the problem is Carolina's second goaltender, Antti Raanta has played the last two game dinged up and not completely 100%. Backing up Raanta is Yaniv Peret who has now played in the NHL but only on a limited scale in the loss to the Kings on the 15th.

Martin Necas
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On the ice, Detroit has been warm to down right hot of late. In their last 5 they are 4-1 has scored 17. Offensively, the Red Wings top scorers resemble the three bears. Team goal leader Dylan Larkin has 5 goals in his last 5 while second place Alex DeBrincat has gone scoreless and has just 2 point in his last 5 outings. In the middle, Robby Fabbri has goals, so how that plays out will be interesting to see

Sebastian Aho put Carolina on his back the month of December. He notched 24 points in 15 games that was in fact just an extension to a November that saw him tally 17 points, in 11 games. Then there is Seth Jarvis who has 5 points in his last 3 games, 6 in his last 5 and 6 in his last 7. Despite having already made plans to spend the NHL All-Star break in Mexico, look for young Mr. Jarvis to keep his point totals increasing until then

Carolina needs to get ahead of the Wings early and keep the acceleration going. With Antti Raanta playing well, but with the dents and dings of the last few games still lingering, goal support is critical. If the Hurricanes can get an early lead, or hold the Red Wings scoreless, they stand a much better chance of getting those critical points to pull closer to the Flyers.