Nashville Predators @ Carolina Hurricanes Preview: Storm Warning

After picking up loser points in their last two games, the Predators try to get back in the win column against a surging Hurricanes team.

The Nashville Predators haven't lost in regulation in their last four contests. They travel down south to the land of the pines to take on the Carolina Hurricanes. Each are playing their second game in as many nights.

The Stats

Nashville Predators Carolina Hurricanes
Record 18-18-6 22nd 17-16-9 24th
GF/Game 2.40 24th 2.43 23rd
GA/Game 2.93 22nd 2.86 19th
5-on-5 Close SF/60 29.4 15th 28.2 20th
5-on-5 Close SA/60 27.5 10th 31.7 23rd
Fenwick Close 49.20 18th 47.40 25th
5-on-5 Close Save % .906 27th .916 24th
5-on-4 GF/60 6.6 11th 4.3 28th
# of PP's/Gm 3.14 24th 3.64 4th
4-on-5 GA/60 6.7 21st 6.5 18th
# of PK's/Gm 3.14 9th 3.31 16th

The Carolina Hurricanes

When these teams faced off exactly a month ago, Jeff "Hockey Bieber" Skinner notched a hat trick. During the Canes' last game against the Washington Capitals, Skinner also notched a hat trick. The 21-year-old now has 19 on the year and paces his club.

As a team, Carolina has won three in a row and are just three points out of third place in the Metro. Goalie Cam Ward has been injured (again) but it's possible he could make the start tonight. The Hurricanes were in action last night against the New York Islanders, defeating them by a score of 3-2. Anton Khudobin stopped 38 shots and is now 4-0 on the year, winning each of his last two starts coming back from injury.

The Nashville Predators

The good news is that the Preds have made it exciting for viewers in each of their last four games, picking up points in all of them. The bad news is that it is probably taking years off all of our lives seeing all these mounted comebacks and last second goals. Still, if you are in the camp that has succumbed to the fact that there will be no playoffs, then this is better hockey than you've seen all season. If you are in the other camp that thinks playoffs are still possible, I'm sure you've broken a few remotes and televisions by now. Chill out dude, it's only January.

Still, there were probably plenty of us that assumed the Predators' luck had run out when the Panthers made it 4-2 last night. Yet, they made it to overtime anyway. I'm not convinced this cast of characters (both on the bench and behind it) are the ones to get the Preds in the direction they need to be. But if this is the level of play they are going to play at for now, it will make me even more excited when the right players do come.

Raleigh is close to the east coast, meaning this is a 6:00 p.m. CST start. Get your tailgate on!