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Tampa Bay Lightning vs Carolina Hurricanes preview: Erik Cernak returns to the lineup

Bolts hoping for revenge after upsetting loss in October.

NHL: OCT 06 Lightning at Hurricanes

Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes Game 24

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: Fox Sports Sun

Opponent SBNation Site: Canes Country

Preview:

The schedule makes no concessions for the Tampa Bay Lightning. After playing against the Washington Capitals, the Bolts are facing their second team from Metropolitan Division in two days - the Carolina Hurricanes. These teams have already met once this season and the Lightning players and fans would prefer to not remember this meeting. We wrote about this game, which was one of the worst performances by the Lightning in the last decade.

Yesterday, the Lightning again went with 11 forwards and seven defenceman, while Carter Verhaeghe watched the game from the press box. We don’t expect big changes tonight, besides Erik Cernak returning to line-up after missing two games due to suspension. The team hasn’t released more information on Brayden Coburn yet, who played just 3:37 last night and left the game with lower body injury. The apparent recalling of Scott Wedgewood seems to have not actually happened, which means Curtis McElhinney is healthy and will be able to play against his former team tonight.

Meanwhile, the Canes have a two-game losing streak and fell down to the second wild card spot, although the situation in Metropolitan Division is pretty tight and four teams are separated just by three points. According to Natural Stat Trick, the Hurricanes have strong possession numbers and lead the league in shot share and second in expected goal share. However, their old problems haven’t disappeared yet, the team’s result have been dragged down by low shot and save percentages.

The Hurricanes biggest stars this season are Andrei Svechnikov and Dougie Hamilton. The 19-year-old Russian forward is becoming a real threat in his second year in the NHL. He’s scoring at point-per-game rate and his nine-game point streak ended just after the last game against the Nashville Predators. Dougie Hamilton is proving his status of one of the best offensively skilled blueliners in the NHL. With 26 points, he’s second in points among all defenceman in the league.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward Lines

Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - Steven Stamkos

Patrick Maroon - Cedric Paquette - Yanni Gourde

Mathieu Joseph - Tyler Johnson

Scratched: Carter Verhaeghe

Defense Pairings

Victor Hedman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Luke Schenn

Jan Rutta

Injuried: Braydon Coburn

Goaltenders

Curtis McElhinney

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Carolina Hurricanes

Forward Lines

Nino Niederreiter - Jordan Staal - Warren Foegele

Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen

Ryan Dzingel - Lucas Wallmark - Martin Necas

Brock McGinn - Clark Bishop - Jordan Martinook

Defense Pairings

Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton

Joel Edmundson - Brett Pesce

Jake Gardiner - Haydn Fleury

Goaltenders

Petr Mrazek

James Reimer

Injuries: Erik Haula

Scratched: Trevor van Riemsdyk