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Preview: Hurricanes at Golden Knights

Carolina, Vegas meet for the second time in nine days

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

LAS VEGAS - For the second time in nine days, the Carolina Hurricanes square off against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Las Vegas marks the third stop on a four-game road swing for the Canes, who are coming off a 5-3 win in Arizona on Thursday night.

"We were pretty solid the whole way through and definitely had a good push back when we got down," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said after practice on Friday.

The Big Three

Down a goal heading into the second period of Thursday's game, the Hurricanes rolled out a loaded forward line featuring Sebastian Aho flanked by Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen.

The trio combined for four goals - two each for Svechnikov and Aho - and three assists, igniting the Canes to tally four straight goals, including three in the second period.

"It certainly got us the win last night," Brind'Amour said on Friday. "You're putting your three best offensive guys together. We needed a little spark when we got behind there. Obviously, they came to life."

PROJECTED LINEUP

Aho has tallied points in five straight games (5g, 3a) and goals in four straight. With a team-leading 29 goals, Aho ranks tied for seventh in the NHL in that category. He's scored 16 of his 29 goals on the road, ranking tied for second in the league. Aho is a goal away from matching his season career high set in 2018-19.

Svechnikov has totaled 50 points (22g, 28a) in 54 games this season, surpassing numbers in every statistical category from his rookie season. This season, th Canes are 25-8-0 when Svechnikov records a point and 6-12-3 when he is held off the scoresheet.

Rhythm and Reim

James Reimer posted 30 saves on Thursday to improve to 13-6-1 on the season. In his last five starts, Reimer is 4-0-1 with a 1.73 goals-against average, a .948 save percentage and one shutout. In his last 15 starts, dating back to mid-November, Reimer is 11-2-1 with a 2.24 goals-against average, a .928 save percentage and three shutouts.

The Last Meeting

Both returning from an extended All-Star Break, the Hurricanes and Golden Knights last met just over a week ago in Raleigh. Despite erasing a two-goal deficit in a late third period comeback, the Canes surrendered a late power-play goal to the Golden Knights and fell, 4-3.

Video: CAR Recap: Aho, Hurricanes rally, fall short in loss

"Terrible, terrible. It's not acceptable to come out and play like that for two periods, even two-and-a-half periods, to be honest with you. They were good. I give them a ton of credit. They played the way they had to," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "We weren't ready to match that. That's what you get. We fought back. Unfortunate at the end."

The Opposition

That game in Raleigh kicked off a four-game road trip for the Golden Knights, who then proceeded on to Nashville, Tampa Bay and South Florida. Vegas finished with a 3-1-0 record on the trip, capping their jaunt out east with an emphatic 7-2 win over the Panthers on Thursday night. Mark Stone led the way offensively with a five-point (2g, 3a) performance, and he now leads the team in scoring with 53 points (20g, 33a) in 56 games.

"They're a tough team, I think one of the best teams in hockey right now," Brind'Amour said. "They've got the talent. They've got the goaltending. Their special teams have really improved. That's a good team. It will be a tough match."


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