Carolina Hurricanes vs. Nashville Predators - 1/5/14
Nashville Predators (18-18-5) at Carolina Hurricanes (16-16-9)
NHL Hockey: Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm (PNC Arena)
The Line: Carolina Hurricanes -116 / Nashville Predators +105 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Hurricanes look for their fourth win in a row as they host the Predators in Raleigh on Sunday afternoon.
The Predators have had to overcome a lot of adversity over the past couple of seasons as they were victims of a roster overhaul via free agency and players leaving for the KHL and while they have shown a lot of resiliency it is clear this isn’t the same team. The Predators were divisional champions a couple years ago and have been a playoff contender for what seems like the past four or five but without the likes of Alex Radulov, Ryan Suter, and Martin Erat the Preds have fallen into the Western Conference basement with the likes of Edmonton and Calgary. Nashville has had to implement a goaltending carousel as starting net minder Pekka Rinne has been out most of the season with an injury and while Carter Hutton has assumed the starter’s role and fared respectably it is still tough to compete without your number one option. Hutton will get the call here as he goes up against Justin Peters for Carolina.
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The Hurricanes have been a bit of a disappointment as well this season as expectations were quite high heading into the year with a clean bill of health. Carolina was expected to be an Eastern Conference contender two seasons ago after they acquired Jordan Staal and Alex Semin via trades and free agency but they flopped last year, largely due to the season ending injury to starting goaltender Cam Ward. While there was a sense of déjà vu earlier on this year as Ward went down again the Canes received good news when they found out Ward would only miss a couple weeks and backup Justin Peters would fill in on an interim basis. The silver lining for the Canes is that Peters is a much better goaltender now after he was thrown into the fire last year as a starter and now when he gets his chances as a backup he usually plays quite well. I am banking on that trend here as I think the Canes are the better team and are playing at home in what is certainly a very reasonable price.