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Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning: The two teams finish up their four game series

The Lightning have taken two out of three

Carolina Hurricanes v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME 18

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: Fox SUN, ESPN+

Opponent SBNation Site: Canes Country


The playoff-like stretch against the Hurricanes draws to a close tonight as the two teams meet for the fourth time in six nights. Following that match-up they won’t see each other until the end of March. Which will be nice, because, quite frankly, four nights of watching Andrei Svechnikov fire wristers on net is enough for me at this point.

It has been a fun series to watch as the games have been fairly even throughout all of the previous meetings. If you add in the first game the teams played back in January (a 1-0 overtime win for Carolina) the Lightning are 2-1-1. At 5v5 they are almost even on shot attempts (194-185 for the Hurricanes), shots on net (106-98 for Carolina), even strength goals (4-3 in favor of the Canes), while expected goals are almost dead even (9.96 for the Lightning vs. 9.59 for the Canes).

Where the Lightning have the edge is in high danger chances (58-40) and special teams. The Lightning have tallied two goals in nine chances with the extra skater while allowing just one in eleven chances against. Shutting down one of the top power play units in the league has proven key in winning the last two games.

Andrei Vasilevskiy’s performance against the Canes in the series so far has also proven vital in their victories. Even in their two wins, there were times that the Lightning were pinned back in their own zone, either due to turnovers or the sheer fact that Carolina is a good team, and their big goaltender has bailed them out. He’s posted a .951 save percentage as well as a 1.50 goals against average in the four meetings.

In all likelihood he’ll be watching from the bench as Curtis McElhinney will get a chance to start against one of his former teams. McElhinney showed a bit of rust in his last start, which came against Florida ten days ago. Granted the team didn’t play very well in front of him, but there were a few goals allowed that the veteran would definitely want back.

As for other changes, there is a chance Ross Colton gets another start after his successful debut on Wednesday, but Coach Cooper does like to keep all of his players fresh so Gemel Smith might rotate back into the lineup. Cal Foote likely will play in his first back-to-back series in the NHL as well.

With Anthony Cirelli joining the scratches and taxi squad players on the ice prior to Wednesday’s game it appears he’s inching closer to a return. When he does come back there will have to be some tough roster decisions. All of the players on the bubble (Smith, Colton, Alex Barré-Boulet, and Alex Volkov) have played well in their limited chances. It’s likely ABB heads back to Syracuse with with Colton or Smith going to the taxi squad. However, that’s a decision for another day.

Tampa Bay Lightning Lines


Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Blake Coleman

Alex Killorn - Tyler Johnson - Steven Stamkos

Barclay Goodrow - Yanni Gourde - Mathieu Joseph

Pat Maroon - Gemel Smith - Alex Volkov

Assuming Smith rotates back into the lineup after after missing a couple of games.


Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta

Ryan McDonagh - Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev - Cal Foote


Curtis McElhinney

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Carolina Hurricanes Lines


Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Brock McGinn

Nino Niederreiter - Vincent Trocheck - Martin Necas

Warren Foegele - Jordan Staal - Jesper Fast

Cedric Paquette - Steven Lorentz - Jordan Martinook


Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton

Jake Gardiner - Brett Pesce

Brady Skjei - Jake Bean


James Reimer

Alex Nedeljkovic