As the Hurricanes look to set a new franchise record with their 10th consecutive win, they’ll be facing a Buffalo team that still has plenty to play for.
In order to avoid elimination from the playoff race, Buffalo needs to leave the RBC Center with no fewer than two points. They were in a similar situation last night at Toronto, where a 3-1 victory over the Leafs kept their season alive.
“What they do is they bring some confidence in here now, and it’s not like there’s 10 games left for them,” said Coach Paul Maurice. “It’s almost makes it simpler for them to mentally get around it and really preparing themselves to be ready to play.”
In addition to a win, the Sabres will also need the New York Rangers to lose to Philadelphia in regulation tonight – a game the Hurricanes have a vested interest in as well, even though they will be cheering for the other team. Carolina needs the Flyers to lose at least once in order to have a chance at home-ice advantage in the first round.
If the Hurricanes win tonight, they will assure themselves of finishing no lower than fifth place.
Whew, got all that? Only four more days left of all these what-ifs, I promise.
Back to tonight’s game, the Hurricanes can extend their franchise-record home winning streak to 13. In his career-high 28th consecutive start, goaltender Cam Ward will look to extend his franchise single-season wins record to 40.
Joe Corvo, who is feeling better now after a brief illness, will re-enter the Hurricanes lineup in place of Frantisek Kaberle, who had two points in the 9-0 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
Buffalo is 4-9-3 in the second half of back-to-back games this season.