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Preview: Hurricanes at Lightning

Canes aim to defend first place on the road

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / Hurricanes.com

TAMPA - A six-game road swing for the Carolina Hurricanes begins with two critical match-ups against the Tampa Bay Lightning.


The Match-Up

Carolina Hurricanes (29-10-4, 62 points) at Tampa Bay Lightning (29-13-2, 60 points)

Monday, April 19, 7 p.m.

Watch: Bally Sports South, FOX Sports GO

Listen: 99.9 FM The Fan, Hurricanes.com/Listen, Hurricanes app

PROJECTED LINEUP


Numbers to Know

2: Just two points separate the first-place Canes from the third-place Lightning in the Central Division.

21: After recording the primary assist on Jani Hakanpaa's game-winning goal against Nashville on Saturday night, Vincent Trocheck has recorded at least a point in 15 of his last 16 games played for a total of 21 points (8g, 13a).

4-2-0: Entering their seventh of nine back-to-backs this season, the Canes are 4-2-0 in both the first and second halves.


The Opposition

Last five games: 3-2-0, 6 points
At home: 16-5-0, 32 points
CAR vs. TB: 3-3-0
Leading scorer: Victor Hedman, 41 points (8g, 33a) in 44 games

The Bolts are in the midst of a critical six-game homestand, and after a 1-1-0 weekend against the Panthers, the Lightning welcome the Canes to town. Tampa Bay is 2-0-0 against Carolina at home this season, having landed back-to-back wins against them in late February. The Lightning now trail the Canes by two points in the Central Division standings.


The Last Meeting

Martin Necas equaled a career-best performance with four points (2g, 2a) in a 4-3 victory over the Lightning. Necas factored in on each of the Canes' four goals and tallied two power-play goals, one of which was the game winner.

Video: Necas' four points, Hamilton help Hurricanes to win

"Both teams played hard, right? The games are intense. The further the season goes, every game is huge. That's the defending champs, so obviously it was quite a challenge for us. I'm proud of how we responded," said Sebastian Aho, who recorded a goal and an assist. "It was a great team effort."


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