The first-place Tampa Bay Lightning will host the Carolina Hurricanes in an Eastern Conference clash Thursday night from the Amalie Arena. The Hurricanes tallied a 4-3 road win over the Islanders in their latest action, and the Lightning registered a 4-0 home win against the Blue Jackets Tuesday night. The Lightning notched a 4-2 home win over the Hurricanes in the lone meeting this season.
Hurricanes Rally for Fourth Straight Win
The Carolina Hurricanes will be targeting their fifth consecutive victory in this one. Carolina concluded a brief three-game road trip in this one. They opened their road trip with a 5-4 win over the Senators, followed by a 3-2 victory against the Islanders in their latest action on Tuesday night. Justin Williams extended his point streak to four games with his 10th goal of the season in the victory. The 17-year veteran right-winger has been inconsistent at times this season, and he has tallied 24 points in 42 games on the season.
Hurricanes’ point leader Sebastian Aho was held off the scoresheet in Tuesday’s victory. The 21-year old left-winger is playing well, collecting six points in his last four games, and he is up to 45 points on the season. Aho recorded an assist in the loss to Tampa Bay earlier this season. Carolina now stands at 9-10-1 on the road this season, and they are 6-4 in their last ten games.
Carolina has been rotating between Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney between the pipes. McElhinney owns the better stats, sporting a 2.25 GAA and a 10-5-1 record, while Mrazek holds an 8-8-2 record with a 2.69 GAA. The Hurricanes are scoring an average of 2.6 goals per game, ranking them 27th in the NHL. They are allowing an average of 2.8 goals, placing them 12th in the NHL.
Lightning Rebound with Decisive Home Win
The Tampa Bay Lightning rebounded from their loss in San Jose with a decisive 4-0 home win against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. Tampa Bay now features a stunning 16-1-1 record in their last 18 games. Lightning’ point leader Nikita Kucherov netted a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s winning effort. The 25-year old right-winger now has 19 points in his last seven games, and he leads the entire NHL with 71 points (21 goals, 50 assists). Kucherov has tallied 16 points in 14 career games against the Hurricanes.
Brayden Point is also red-hot. He collected two goals along with one assist in Tuesday’s win, and he now has 12 points in his last seven games. Point is second in team scoring with 57 points and a plus 18 rating. Tampa Bay now features a dominating 18-4 home record on the season.
The Lightning are expected to have Andrei Vasilevskiy guard the cage in this one. The 24-year old goalie recorded the shutout on Tuesday, and he now features a 2.55 GAA and a .923 save percentage, accompanied with a 17-4-2 record. Tampa Bay continues to fill the net, and they lead the NHL with 4.1 goals per game. They are holding opponents to an average of 2.9 goals, positioning them 14th in the NHL.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are:
- 22-7 in their last 29 games against the Hurricanes.
- 40-14 in their last 54 games overall.
- 55-20 in their last 75 home games.
The Carolina Hurricanes are:
- 0-8 in their last 8 games in Tampa Bay.
- 14-37 in their last 51 games against a team with a winning record.
- 4-10 in their last 14 games when their opponent allows two or fewer goals in their previous game