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Tuesday's slate of NHL games starts off in a high-scoring matchup between the Carolina Hurricanes (3-3) and the Tampa Bay Lightning (2-2-2). Both the Hurricanes and the Lightning have started the 2023-2024 NHL Season with some of the worst defensive performances out of all of the teams in the league.
The Hurricanes have allowed 30 goals this season, the most in the league. Carolina has allowed at least three goals in the six games played this season, with four of them being five goals allowed. They have three goalies who have a save percentage of 85.5% or lower in at least two games played. Frederik Anderson (85.5% saves) is set to start tonight.
The Hurricanes' offense, on the other hand, is highly efficient. They possess one of the fastest and most aggressive offenses in the league. Carolina has three players: center Seth Jarvis, defender Jaccob Slavin and center Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who have accounted for seven points each.
The Lightning are not that much better on the defensive side of the ice, as they have allowed 24 goals in six games. Tampa Bay has not allowed less than three goals in any of their six games played this season.
In six games, Tampa Bay has allowed opposing offenses to attempt 199 shots at the goal. While the Hurricanes have seen problems with their goalies, the Lightning have allowed their goalies to be consistently attacked.
The Lighting have an efficient offense of their own. Right-wing Nikita Kuckerov has accounted for nine points this season, with six of them being goals. Center Brayden Point has accounted for seven points, with seven of them being assists.
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One of the biggest games from an Eastern Conference versus Western Conference slate on Tuesday is the Dallas Stars (3-0-1) at the Pittsburgh Penguins (2-3). Both teams have yet to show their potential on the defensive side of the ice this season.
The Penguins have allowed 16 goals this season, with 11 of them coming against goalie Tristan Jarry (89.2% saves). Several of the Penguins' main defenders, like Erik Karlsson and Kris Letang, are in the positive when the Penguins go empty net or offensive heavy.
Center Evgeni Malkin is still playing at a high level this season, accounting for eight points with four goals and four assists. He has taken great command of the Penguins' offense. Left-wing Jake Guentzal is one of the top assisters in the league, accounting for a team-high five assists. Forward Ryan Rust has accounted for a team-high set of goals with four. Finally, center Sidney Crosby is a high-volume scorer when he needs to.
The Stars are a team that started the season slow offensively but has picked up steam. Dallas is coming off a big 5-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
On the other side of the ice, the Stars are seeing signs of struggle from their defense, especially in shootout moments. Stars goalie Jake Oettinger (94.3% saves) has allowed three goals in six shootouts this season.
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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