Game Preview: Nashville Predators @ Carolina Hurricanes 2/18/22
The Preds look again for a win today, this time uphill.
The Nashville Predators have lost three games in regulation for the first time this season, and now take to the road—trying to stop the skid—to face off against the Carolina Hurricanes, who eliminated them from the playoffs last year. The Canes are having a strong season again this year, despite only going 1-2-2 since the start of the month. They’ll also be looking to break out of a slump tonight.
Sebastian Aho leads the team with 21 goals, 28 assists, and 49 points; Andrei Svechnikov just trails him in goals (20) and points (44), while Teuvo Teravainen has been racking up the assists (25). Frederik Andersen has been great in net, with a .928 sv% on the season, while Antti Raanta has been an okay backup (a respectable enough .909, good enough to give Andersen the night off from time to time).
It’s another year of the Hurricanes doing a great job at controlling play at even strength, and now it’s also another year of them getting rewarded for it with both shooting and goaltending—especially goaltending. Their actual conversion rate on their chances has been incredibly average, but when you pile up the chances like the Canes do, that still means piling on the goals.
In bad news for the Preds, while the Hurricanes have been taking a fair few penalties this year, their penalty kill has been excellent. A team that can score on the power play—which they also can, though they’ve struggled to draw penalties—and smother most penalty calls has no real reason to hope the game stays 5v5, good as they are at 5v5. With both teams tonight leaning toward the more heavily-penalized end of the scale (or camped out on it, in the Preds’ case), we will probably see a lot of special teams action.
How to Watch
The game starts at 6 PM Central and will air on Bally Sports South and 102.5 The Game.
Statistics from naturalstattrick.org. Additional background from hockeyviz.com.