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Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Laviolette: Injured Trio Back Tonight

Wednesday, 11.12.2008 / 11:20 AM / 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.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 61 26 31 4 157 191 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 61 12 28 -16 40
E. Staal 56 18 19 -10 37
E. Lindholm 60 11 16 -16 27
J. Skinner 56 16 10 -16 26
R. Nash 58 7 15 -9 22
N. Gerbe 57 7 15 -11 22
V. Rask 59 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 61 6 12 3 18
J. Staal 25 4 12 -2 16
A. Nestrasil 33 4 10 4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 19 4 .913 2.37
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60