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Canes Looking to Keep it Simple vs. Ducks

Sunday, 11.30.2008 / 11:51 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Canes Looking to Keep it Simple vs. Ducks

While Sergei Samsonov’s winner in Philadelphia was of the highlight-reel variety, the Canes’ other two goals were something other than that.  No disrespect to Patrick Dwyer and Tuomo Ruutu, but the term “ugly” could suffice.

Paul Branecky
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The way the Canes see it, a goal is a goal, and they’ll be happy to keep getting them that way in the future, including in tonight’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.

“You go to the net and usually that’s when good things happen,” said Ryan Bayda.  “It’s a simple game and it’s an easy game for us to play.  It’s almost brain-dead hockey.  Get it to the net, go in there and bang and see what you can come up with.”

“That’s the way it works for everybody in the league right now,” said coach Peter Laviolette.  “There’s some pretty ones that are scored, but there’s more ugly ones that are scored.  The way defenses play defense now, there’s a lot of people in front of the net.  Any puck at the net is a good puck because it creates a little bit of chaos.”

With that mentality, look for the Hurricanes to throw whatever they can at Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller.  Starting goaltender Jean Sebastien Giguere will be available, having recently rejoined the team after taking time off for family matters, but Hiller is expected to play after shutting out Chicago 1-0 on Friday to improve his record to 5-1-1.

Former Hurricane Bret Hedican makes his return to the RBC Center for the first time since joining the Ducks nine games into their season.  He recently appeared in his 1,000th NHL game on November 22.

“He’d been in the organization for quite a while and played a lot of games with a couple of cup runs,” said Laviolette of Hedican, who played 417 total games with Carolina over six seasons.  “We certainly appreciated what he did here.  He was a steady, two-way defenseman, he was a professional, he played hard all the time and was able to handle a lot of minutes against a lot of tough players.  He was a real good player for us.”

There’s no question that this is a different Ducks team than the one the Hurricanes saw on October 19.  The Ducks were just 1-4-0 back then, but have gone 12-3-3 since.  Leading scorers Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry had combined for only two assists through the first meeting, but have 53 total points in the 18 games since to propel themselves to the top 10 in league scoring.

With Dennis Seidenberg and Tim Gleason expected to be out tonight, it will be interesting to see how Laviolette spreads the minutes around his blueline.  Seidenberg leads the team with an average of 24 minutes per game, while Gleason is third with 22:47.  Anton Babchuk and Josef Melichar are both in, while Frank Kaberle logged just over 19 minutes in his return to action on Friday.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 53 15 19 -13 34
V. Rask 51 12 19 1 31
K. Versteeg 52 10 21 1 31
J. Skinner 53 18 12 -3 30
J. Staal 53 12 18 7 30
E. Staal 53 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 53 8 16 -8 24
A. Nestrasil 46 7 12 -1 19
J. Nordstrom 42 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 53 3 11 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 5 .905 2.43
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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