#4 Carolinas Hurricanesvs.#3 Colorado Avalanche
Friday, February 2 2017, at 7:35pm EST
Written by David Hess
Colorado Avalanche (15-37-1-1 SU, 23-31 PL, 22-23-9 O/U) vs Carolina Hurricanes (24-22-3-4 SU, 30-23 PL, 23-22-8 O/U)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, February 17, 2017
Where: PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina
Lines: Carolina -235/ Colorado +210
NHL Hockey action on Friday evening and the Colorado Avalanche will pay a visit to PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina to rumble with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Avs have a date in Buffalo on Thursday night and will be looking to halt a four-game skid, while the Hurricanes have lost seven of their last 10 games following a 5-2 loss at Dallas.
Colorado has had a miserable season so far and they are well on their way to grabbing the #1 draft pick in the next draft as they have the fewest points in the league at 32 and by a wide margin as Arizona has the 2nd fewest points in the league at 45. Colorado has gone 15-39 overall and that includes going 7-20 at home and 8-19 on the road. They can’t win at home or on the road. On Thursday night they have a game in Buffalo and prior to that game they had lost their last four in a row and 13 of their last 15. This is a bad team that is just waiting for the season to end and for them, it probably can’t end soon enough. The Avalanche have four players that have scored at least 10 goals on the year and they have been led by Matt Duchene, who has 15, Nathan MacKinnon, who has 12 and Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog, who each have posted 11 goals on the year.
Calvin Pickard is slated to get the start in Buffalo on Thursday night, so Jeremy Smith will get his 2nd career NHL start in the game. In his first start (Tuesday) he allowed three goals on 40 shot attempts in a 3-2 loss at New Jersey. Colorado enters this game ranked 30th in the league in scoring at 2.02 gpg, while also ranking 26th in shots taken (28.3 spg) and 29th in power play conversions, converting on 14.9% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have not been good at all as they come in ranked 30th in goals allowed, giving up 3.39 gpg, while also ranking 26th in shots allowed (32.3) and 25th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 22.0% of their chances.
The Carolina Hurricanes are trying to fight their way back into playoff contention, but it has not been easy for them. They have lost their last two games in a row and have been outscored 10-2 in those games, while going back a bit farther, they have lost seven of their last 10 games. The Canes are now in last place in the Metro Division, with the 2nd fewest points in the Eastern Conference. It will not be easy for them to get back in the race, but at least they have a shot at an easy two points in this one vs the lowly Avs. The Canes are off a 5-2 road loss to the Stars and scoring in the loss was Sebastian Aho, which was his 17th of the year and Justin Faulk, which was his 11th of the year. The Canes have struggled on the road for the year at 7-22, but here at home they have been solid, going 17-7 at PNC Arena so far.
Taking the loss against the Stars was Cam Ward, who has gone 21-23 with a 2.62 GAA, including 15-6 with a 2.27 GAA here at home, while vs the Avalanche in his career hs has gone 5-4 with a 2.65 GAA. Carolina comes in ranked 19th in the league in scoring at 2.63 gpg, while also ranking 15th in shots taken (29.8 spg) and 20th in power play conversions, converting on 17.2% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been a bit below average they come in ranked 21st in goals allowed, giving up 2.80 gpg, while also ranking 4th in shots allowed (27.7) and 2nd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 13.9% of their chances.
The Avs are really a bad team this year, but the Hurricanes have really struggled of late as well. This has been a close series of late as nine of the last 10 games between these teams have been decided by one goal. I know that the Avs are playing on no rest and Carolina has been a strong home team, but they are not playing well at all, especially in the crease and the Avs weak offense, should be able to score enough to make this game another one-goal game. Take the Avs on the puckline.
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