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Lightning at Hurricanes preview

Carolina eyes third straight win to begin season; McElhinney starts for Tampa Bay against former team

by Kurt Dusterberg / Independent Correspondent

LIGHTNING (1-1-0) at HURRICANES (2-0-0)

5 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SUN, FS-CR, NHL.TV


The Game 

The Carolina Hurricanes will try for their third straight win when they play the Tampa Bay Lightning at PNC Arena on Sunday.

The Hurricanes defeated the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Jake Gardiner's overtime goal Saturday. James Reimer made 32 saves in his Carolina debut.

Goalie Curtis McElhinney will debut for the Lightning against his former team after Andrei Vasilevskiy made 24 saves in a 4-3 loss at the Florida Panthers on Saturday. McElhinney signed a two-year contract July 1 after going 20-11-2 with a 2.58 goals-against average, .912 save percentage and two shutouts for the Hurricanes last season after he was claimed off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 2, 2018. 


Players to watch 

Lightning center Tyler Johnson has 20 points (12 goals, eight assists) in 20 games against the Hurricanes.

Hurricanes forward Erik Haula has scored a goal in each of his first two games.


They said it 

"The mistakes aren't effort mistakes. They aren't lazy plays or anything like that. It's maybe some miscommunication, guys not being on the same page. It takes time. It's something we will grow through and obviously improve as we go along." -- Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

"It's definitely not what we're going to want for the rest of the year. Playing with the lead is a lot easier. But it just shows a lot (about) our group. Guys stepped up and we had a nice comeback." -- Hurricanes defenseman Jake Gardiner on Carolina's third-period comebacks in each of the first two games


Lightning projected lineup

Steven Stamkos -- Tyler Johnson -- Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat -- Anthony Cirelli -- Alex Killorn

Carter Verhaeghe -- Yanni Gourde -- Mathieu Joseph

Pat Maroon -- Gemel Smith -- Luke Witkowski

Victor Hedman -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak

Braydon Coburn -- Mikhail Sergachev

Curtis McElhinney

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Jan Rutta

Injured: Cedric Paquette (upper body), Brayden Point (hip surgery) 


Hurricanes projected lineup  

Nino Niederreiter -- Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen

Andrei Svechnikov -- Jordan Staal -- Brock McGinn

Ryan Dzingel -- Erik Haula -- Martin Necas

Warren Foegele -- Lucas Wallmark -- Jordan Martinook

Jaccob Slavin -- Dougie Hamilton

Joel Edmundson -- Brett Pesce

Jake Gardiner -- Haydn Fleury

Petr Mrazek

James Reimer

Scratched: None

Injured: Trevor van Riemsdyk (shoulder)


Status report 

Neither team held a morning skate.


Stat pack 

Tampa Bay is completing the first of 15 back-to-back sets and Carolina the first of 16 this season. … The Lightning went 3-0-0 against the Hurricanes last season, outscoring them 13-6. … Sergachev has three assists in two games this season. … Hamilton, Svechnikov and Teravainen each has two assists in two games.

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