Game day has arrived once again. The Carolina Hurricanes will look to improve to 2-0 on the season on Saturday, as the take on the Los Angeles Kings at Crypto.com Arena.
The Kings are the first of six straight road opponents for Carolina, as the state fair comes to Raleigh, sending them on their early trip out west once again.
Carolina notched a 5-3 victory against Ottawa to open up the season on Wednesday, led by Brady Skjei and Jordan Staal, who recorded two points apiece.
Ten other Hurricanes secured a point in the contest, including Michael Bunting, Jaccob Slavin, and Teuvo Teravainen, who each netted a goal of their own.
While the return of Andrei Svechnikov was delayed until at least the end of the west coast trip, another key headline emerged: how will Carolina’s lineup shake out?
Both defenseman Jalen Chatfield and forward Brendan Lemieux participated in the morning skate and warm ups, but Rod Brind’Amour ultimately decided on an 11 forward, seven defenseman lineup in the opener.
Chatfield served as the extra defenseman, but tallied just 4:39 of ice time. He performed well during his limited minutes and was the victim of the Hurricanes earning six power play opportunities, where Tony DeAngelo quarterbacks the unit.
It is still uncertain how they will line up tonight and if Chatfield will see increased minutes.
While the Hurricanes made headlines between their forwards and defensemen, Freddie Andersen turned in a solid performance in goal. Although the Senators scored less than four minutes into the season and netted two goals in a 35 second span in the third period, he was critical in the second period and in the home stretch of the third.
Awaiting Carolina is a Los Angeles Kings team that is coming off of a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche.
Los Angeles fell behind by three goals early in the second period before back-to-back goals, including one with five seconds remaining in the frame, brought the deficit to one.
Mikko Rantanen’s second goal of the night and an empty-net score from Miles Wood delivered the game’s final score and dealt the Kings an opening night loss.
Defenseman Drew Doughty and center Anze Kopitar led Los Angeles in ice time, with Doughty’s 26:18 of ice time ranking fifth in the NHL after one game.
Forward Kevin Fiala recorded five shots on goal to lead the Kings, while forward Alex Laferriere and center Phillip Danault each added in four shots apiece.
Colorado and Los Angeles tallied 36 shots on goal against netminders, as Wood’s empty-netter gave the Avalanche the 37-36 advantage overall.
The Kings drew eight penalties, had five power play opportunities, and were active in the offensive zone.
Colorado recorded 23 blocked shots, 10 more than the Kings, attempting to limit the work of goaltender Alexandar Georgiev.
Carolina has earned a victory in seven straight contests against Los Angeles and they will have a chance to make it eight in a row when the puck drops at 10:30pm EST.