You have to love when they are as easy as the Sharks were in New Jersey last Friday night. I’m glad they came through in such a great spot.
Moving on to Tuesday…
Scott Darling has not exactly had the start he wanted (2-2-1, 2.57 GAA, .898 SV%), but Darling is a quality goalie and gives an underrated Carolina team a good chance of returning to the playoffs this season. Darling sports a career 41-19-10 record with a 2.38 GAA and .921 SV%, and a closer look reveals Darling’s even-strength save percentage ranks fifth best among all active goaltenders.
This bodes well for Scott and the Hurricanes, as they have been the most disciplined team in the National Hockey League this season, taking just 16 minor penalties in six games. In comparison, the Lightning have taken 42 minors in nine games. Last season was no different for the Hurricanes, as they averaged just 5:48 in penalty minutes per game; the next closest team was the Chicago Blackhawks at 7:07 per game.
The biggest challenge tonight for Carolina will be finding a way to score against a red-hot Andrei Vasilevskiy. Carolina showed a lot of promise on their four-game road swing, converting four times in 18 power play opportunities. Jeff Skinner is fresh off consecutive multi-point games. Tampa Bay has been scoring goals for fun, but when two of those games involve Antti Niemi guarding the crease for a bad defensive team on the tail-end of a back-to-back, it would be almost impossible for them not to explode on home ice.
In 41 games at PNC Arena during the 2016-17 season, the Carolina Hurricanes lost only 12 times in regulation. With another year of growth for their prospects and a rock solid Scott Darling in net, Carolina will be a tough nut to crack throughout the season.
Fair Odds: Hurricanes -125
Nothing else for Tuesday on the ice as of now.