Hockey is back. Finally.
Vegas has not played since suffering a 2-1 loss to Juuse Saros and the Nashville Predators nine days ago, while the Hurricanes are back in action after going 2-0-1 in the three games before the break.
Reilly Smith is a game-time decision for tonight’s game; if he’s able to play, he will be back in his usual spot on the top line. That means Brandon Pirri would drop down to the third line to skate with Cody Eakin and Valentin Zykov (going up against his former team) as both Ryan Carpenter and Oscar Lindberg will be out of the lineup tonight.
The biggest surprise, however, is that Maxime Lagace will man the crease. With the Knights set to play tomorrow as well, Gerard Gallant has decided against playing Marc-Andre Fleury in both games. It will be Lagace’s first start of the season after the 26-year-old went 6-7-1 with a 3.91 goals-against average and .867 save percentage in 14 starts last season.
Here are the projected lineups for both clubs:
Marchessault — Karlsson — Smith
Pacioretty — Stastny — Tuch
Pirri — Eakin — Zykov
Nosek — Bellemare — Reaves
McNabb — Schmidt
Theodore — Engelland
Merrill — Miller
Niederreiter (#21) — Aho (#20) — Williams (#14)
Ferland (#79) — Wallmark (#71) — Teravainen (#86)
Svechnikov (#37) — Martinook (#48) — McGinn (#23)
Foegele (#13) — McKegg (#42) — Maenalanen (#8)
Slavin (#74) — Hamilton (#19)
Pesce (#22) — Faulk (#27)
de Haan (#44) — van Riemsdyk (#57)
Here is today’s preview from Canes Country, the SB Nation site for the Carolina Hurricanes.