The NHL slows down on Friday night with four games on the board. This will help set up a busy weekend of action. The Carolina Hurricanes and Anaheim Ducks will meet up in one of these matchups. While neither team has jumped out to an exciting start this season, both teams will look to get a out of conference win on Friday night.
The Hurricanes have gone 12-11-4 to start out the new season. Carolina is currently sitting in fifth place of the Metropolitan Division. The Hurricanes have stumbled a little bit recently, losing three games in a row. Carolina has played some good hockey this season, but are inconsistent. The Hurricanes will look to turn around this losing streak with a win on Friday night.
Anaheim has started the new season with a record of 15-10-5. The Ducks are sitting in second place of the Pacific Division. Anaheim has found quite a bit of success over their last stretch of games. The Ducks have won five games in a row and seven of their last eight. Anaheim has struggled with injuries this season, but have still found ways to win games. They will look to do that again against Carolina.
This will be the second and final matchup between the Hurricanes and Ducks this season. These two teams met a few games ago on November 30. Anaheim will look to capitalize on Carolina’s recent struggles, while the Hurricanes will look to get back in the win column against the Ducks.
In last season’s series, the Hurricanes and the Ducks met up twice. Anaheim swept the season series 2-0. The Ducks won the first game in Carolina 4-3 in overtime and the second game 3-2 at home. Anaheim finished the season in a playoff spot, while Carolina missed the playoffs entirely. The Ducks were the better team last season, but the Hurricanes still kept both of their matchups close.
The first matchup between these two teams this season was hosted by Carolina. Andrei Svechnikov opened up the scoring for the Hurricanes in the first period, but it ended up their only goal. Pontus Aberg tied it up in the third and Ryan Getzlaf scored the game winning goal in overtime. John Gibson stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced, while Curtis McElhinney had 27 saves for the Hurricanes.
Anaheim is on a five game winning streak against the Hurricanes. Carolina won their last game against the Ducks on December 11, 2015. The Hurricanes have kept the last four games against Anaheim within one goal, but have not been able to pull off the win in the end. Carolina will look to snap that losing streak with a win in Anaheim on Friday night.
The Hurricanes have had difficulty getting anything going on either side of special teams this season. Carolina’s power play is scoring at a rate of 16.5 percent. The Hurricanes penalty kill has not been great either, stopping the opposing team 78 percent of the time. Carolina needs to improve on both sides of special teams if they want to contend for a playoff spot this season.
Like the Hurricanes, Anaheim’s power play has struggle to get things going. The Ducks power play is producing goals 17 percent of the time. Anaheim’s penalty kill has done a pretty good job slowing teams down. The Ducks penalty kill has a success rate of 80.5 percent. Anaheim has the edge up on special teams because of their penalty kill, but I do not believe that this game will produce a lot of power play goals.
Curtis McElhinney will likely get the start in net for Carolina on Friday night. McElhinney seems to have taken over the starting job. He has posted a record of 7-3-1 in his starts this season. McElhinney has a save percentage of .920 and a GAA of 2.36. McElhinney’s numbers have been solid this season and he will look to give Anaheim another tough matchup on Friday night.
I expect John Gibson to get the start in net for the Ducks in Friday night’s matchup. Gibson has posted a .926 save percentage and a GAA of 2.56 this season. He has a record of 11-8-4 in his starts. Gibson has been a solid player for Anaheim this season. He has played a big part in their winning streak.
Both goalies have posted solid numbers up to this point in the season. These two goalies matched up in a very competitive game in the first game between these two teams this season. I expect both goalies to play another tight game on Friday night. I expect this to be another close game, which means both goalies will need to be on their toes for their respective team.
While both of these teams come into Friday night’s game going in opposite directions, I expect a close game. Carolina has lost five in a row to the Ducks and I believe they finally end that streak on Friday night. The Hurricanes are a streaky team and I believe that Friday’s matchup against Anaheim is a prime game to turn around this losing streak. The Ducks are on a winning streak, but all streaks end at some point.
BetOnline has Carolina listed as a -111 against the money line. I believe that the Hurricanes are favored because they are not buying into Anaheim’s recent success. While I believe that this game should be even at best, I believe there is still value in Carolina. They are not heavily favored, which means that you do not have to lay down a whole lot to win a good percentage back. I am taking the Hurricanes as road favorites.