Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Carolina Hurricanes hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:
• TB’s All-Stars were Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, and Jonathan Drouin (rookie selection).
• Stamkos had 2G, 1A for Team Foligno on Sunday.
• Johnson did not participate in either Saturday or Sunday’s activities due to a lower body injury.
• Drouin won the fastest skater competition as a member of Team Foligno, with a time of 13.103 seconds.
• CAR’s only All-Star was Justin Faulk.
• Faulk had 2 assists in the win for Team Toews.
TAMPA BAY FIRST-HALF REVIEW
• TB begins play after the All-Star Break as the Atlantic Division leader, the top team in the East, and the NHL’s highest scoring team (3.21 goals/gm).
• The Lightning enter on a 3-game win streak, and are 6-3-0 overall in January.
• Last Game: TB def. VAN 4-1 last Tuesday. This marked the Lightning’s 8th straight home victory.
• With 64 points, the Bolts are off to the best 48-game start in the 22-season history of the franchise.
• TB trails league-leading ANA (68 pts) by 4 points; the Lightning have never won the President’s Trophy.
CAROLINA FIRST-HALF REVIEW
• The Hurricanes enter in last place in the Metropolitan Division (37 pts). Only BUF (31 pts) and EDM (33 pts) have fewer points in the NHL this season (AZ also has 37 pts).
• However, the Canes’ play has improved in 2015. CAR enters on a 2-game win streak, and the team has a 6-2-1 record overall in January.
• Last game: CAR def. TOR 4-1 last Monday.
• The win vs. TOR capped off a 2-0-0 Ontario road trip (also beat OTT 3-2) – the first time CAR has won back-to-back road games this season.
• TB injury woes: The Lightning have injuries to key players currently, especially on the blue line…
• D Matt Carle (torn abdominal muscles) had surgery last week and was expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
• Carle leads the team in blocked shots (74) and ranks 3rd in TOI/G (20:34) in 46 games this season.
• D Radko Gudas (knee) was expected to miss 4 months at the time of his arthroscopic knee surgery at the beginning of January.
• Despite playing in just 31 games, Gudas leads TB in hits (115), and is 2nd in blocked shots (63).
• F Tyler Johnson (lower-body) did not participate in the skills competition or the All-Star Game, and though he practiced Monday, is still considered day-to-day.
• Johnson leads TB in assists (31) and points (48) and is 2nd in the NHL with a +26 rating this season.
TAMPA BAY TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
• Steven Stamkos had an assist in TB’s most recent game – a 4-1 win vs. VAN last Tuesday.
• With 26 goals this season, Stamkos trails league-leaders Tyler Seguin and Rick Nash (28 goals) by just two. Alex Ovechkin is 3rd in the NHL with 27 goals this season.
• The Lightning captain is a two-time winner of the Maurice Richard Trophy (NHL leading goal-scorer); he captured the title in 2010 (tied w/ Sidney Crosby) and in 2012 by himself.
• Career vs. CAR: 24 points (12G-12A) in 31 career games.
• Ryan Callahan, who signed a 6-year/$34.8 million contract extension with TB this summer through 2019-20, is on pace for a career season points-wise with 35 points in 43 games played so far.
• Callahan set his career-high with 54 points (29G-25A) in 2011-12 with the New York Rangers.
• He has 5 points (3G-2A) in his last 6 games.
• Alex Killorn scored twice against VAN for the first 2-goal game of his career.
• Nikita Kucherov is t-2nd on the team in goals (17), but he has gone 9 straight games without a goal (0G-6A).
• Kucherov leads the NHL with a +28 rating this season.
• Ben Bishop has started all 3 games during the Lightning’s win streak (3-0-0 record, 1.62 GAA, .951 SV%), and he ranks t-4th in the NHL with 24 wins this season. He has great numbers all-time vs. the Hurricanes…
• Career vs. CAR: 5-0-0 record, 1.19 GAA, .967 SV%, 2 SO.
CAROLINA TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
• Jordan Staal missed the first 35 games of CAR’s season (fractured fibula). The team’s offense — and overall record — has been much improved with him in the lineup this season.
• Jordan had 2 assists in the win vs. TOR, and he has 6 points (1G-5A) in 10 games overall since his return.
• Eric Staal has benefitted from Jordan’s return – he has 8 goals in the 11 games since Jordan returned on Dec. 29 (8G-1A). The two have been playing on the top line together.
• Eric had 2 goals – both assisted by his brother Jordan – in the game vs. TOR.
• Career vs. TB: 67 points (31G-36A) in 63 career games. The 31 goals are his most vs. any NHL opponent.
• Khudobin stealing the show: While veteran Cam Ward has started 31 of the team’s 46 games this season, Anton Khudobin is the hot goalie for Carolina of late.
• Ward has won just 3 of his past 14 starts (3-9-2 record, 2.42 GAA, .910 SV%) dating back to Dec. 7.