The Canes hit the road tonight to take on Metro Division rivals, the New Jersey Devils. They wrapped up their 8 game home stand in which they went 5-2-1 with a royal beat-down of the LA Kings. Justin Faulk scored a natural hat trick, Jeff Skinner netted two of his own, and Sebastian Aho and Jaccob Slavin each tallied a goal in the 7-3 victory. In their past three contests, the Canes have registered three or more goals, and the guys that you expect to score have done so. Aho has 6 points (2-4–6), Skinner has 4 (3-1–4), Teravainen has 3 (0-3–3), and Faulk has 3 (3-0–3). With a record of 6-3-1 in their last 10, the Canes are rolling, and they couldn’t have picked a better time to catch fire.
The Devils started the year off well, but have since lost steam. They come into tonight with a record of 4-6-0 in their last 10. Taylor Hall leads the Devils with 59 points (23-36–59). The Devils second leading scorer is rookie Nico Hischier who has registered 10 goals and 24 Assists thus far. Only four of the Devils top 5 scorers have hit the 30 point mark this season. Their 5th place scorer, Miles Wood, only has 24 points this year. Tonight’s match up will be similar to the game against LA. The Devils have a group of under performing forwards that are being carried by an elite goalie. Cory Schneider holds a record of 17-11-6 with a .913 SV% and a 2.79 GAA. While those numbers are not spectacular, they are not bad considering the team in front of him.
What to Watch For:
When I say there are heavy playoff implications tonight, I mean there are HEAVY playoff implications tonight. A win in regulation for the Canes would give them sole possession of…wait for it…the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Not only that, but it would place the Canes one point behind Philly for the third place spot in the Metro Division. The Canes and the Devils are separated by one point in the standings right now, and have not played each other this season. Tonight is the first of four meetings. The Canes are heating up while the Devils are slipping. Carolina is in control of their own destiny right now. Just keep winning, just keep winning, Just. Keep. Winning.
For those who enjoy scoreboard watching, other games to keep an eye on include NYR @ NYI and LAK @ PIT
Expected Lines CAR:
Expected Lines NJD:
Kinkaid (Unconfirmed; in Starter’s Crease during morning skate)
Update: Scott Darling led the Canes onto the ice for warm-ups. He will likely be tonight’s starter. Canes line rushes during warm-ups are as follows: