The Carolina Hurricanes will look to extend their winning streak to three games on Friday, as they welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning to PNC Arena.
On Wednesday, Carolina dominated the Edmonton Oilers from puck drop, earning a 6-3 victory.
While Antti Raanta earned the win in net, he exited the contest after the first period with a lower-body injury. The team described the move as precautionary and Pyotr Kochetkov took over, allowing two goals on 15 shot attempts.
Fifteen different skaters recorded a point in the win, including Seth Jarvis, Teuvo Teravainen, and Jalen Chatfield, who each tallied two.
Chatfield’s insertion into the lineup paid immediate dividends, as both him and Dmitry Orlov were +2 in the victory.
It also appears as if Brind’Amour will stick with his presence in the lineup, as he was alongside Dmitry Orlov once again during the morning skate.
At 11-7-0 overall and riding a two-game winning streak, a tough test in the Tampa Bay Lightning awaits.
The big factor in this contest will be goaltending.
Antti Raanta appears to be in the line to start, while the Lightning will welcome back a familiar face in Andrei Vasilevskiy, who missed the first 20 games due to back surgery.
The health of Raanta and the potential rustiness for the Tampa Bay netminder will be something to watch for.
Friday’s matchup marks the third meeting between the two teams this season, as the Lightning secured a 3-0 victory on Oct. 24 in Tampa Bay and Carolina returned the favor with a 4-0 win on Nov. 11.
They’re led by Nikita Kucherov, who has amassed 29 points this season with a team-high 13 goals and 16 assists. His 29 points put him behind only Quinn Hughes and J.T. Miller.
Forwards Brayden Point (24) and Steven Stamkos (21) and defenseman Victor Hedman (21) have also reached the 20-point mark and are averaging over a point per game.
With 70 goals, they rank third in the NHL, but they also struggle in stopping their opponents, allowing 3.6 goals per game.
Tampa Bay currently sits at 9-6-5 overall and enter as winners of three of their last four contests.
Knowing they’re getting their Vezina Trophy winning goaltender back is certainly going to provide a boost for an already dangerous and experienced team.
As both teams sit in third place in their respective divisions, their last meeting of the season could help one move into the second spot a quarter of the way through the season.
Puck drop is set for 8:00pm inside PNC Arena.