Flyers vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

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.

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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 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 70 21 28 -12 49
J. Faulk 75 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 74 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 70 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 73 11 20 -12 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 71 8 17 -13 25
J. McClement 75 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 47 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 39 4 16 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60