Tracking the Storm

Laviolette: Injured Trio Back Tonight

Wednesday, 11.12.2008 / 11:20 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Laviolette: Injured Trio Back Tonight

Coach Peter Laviolette confirmed this morning that Matt Cullen, Joni Pitkanen and Brandon Sutter will all be back in the lineup tonight against Washington – a big boost as the Canes try to reclaim sole possession of the Southeast Division lead.

Paul Branecky
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”We’ve been short on numbers, so it will be good to get a full lineup back in there,” said Laviolette.  “Especially up front, it gives us more depth at center and more depth to the forwards.”

None of the returning players were available for last week’s heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Washington, with the Canes will try to avenge tonight at the RBC Center.  Other than the last few minutes of that game, Laviolette doesn’t see much his team needs to do differently this time around..

He was satisfied with the way his team had played until Alex Semin’s shot took an unlucky deflection of Niclas Wallin’s skate and into the net with just over two minutes left.  Even though the Capitals had tied it up, it wasn’t a glaring defensive breakdown that led to the goal.

It was after the Capitals tied it that things started to slip away.

“They just stole the momentum,” said Laviolette

At that point the Hurricanes, suddenly on their heels against a rejuvenated Washington team playing at home, may have gotten away from the things that had given them the lead up until that point – things that they’ll try to do again tonight.

”If you back off thinking you’re going to play it safe, you’re going to find out that you’ve given up your zone too much and you’re giving up too much ice time in your own end,” said Laviolette.  “I think being aggressive in our system and being aggressive defensively is one of the keys to trying to shut them down.”

No Sergei Fedorov tonight for Washington, which is a break for the Canes.  We discussed his resurgence with the Capitals a bit in our last podcast – even though he looked like he might be done a few years ago, he seems to be back now.  Shaone Morrisonn is also out, and Brent Johnson looks to start opposite Michael Leighton in goal.

Update: If tonight's lineups are any indication, Dwight Helminen will be reassigned to Albany before the game.  While he's played well, there's no more room at center with Cullen and Sutter back.  Patrick Dwyer will play wing with Sutter on the fourth line and kill penalties.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72