Devils vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Canes Pushing Through Tough Stretch

Saturday, 02.21.2009 / 1:04 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Canes Pushing Through Tough Stretch
The Hurricanes aren’t getting much of a break in between games these days, so they took one on Saturday instead.

Paul Branecky
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In the middle of a stretch where they play 10 games in 17 days, the team held an optional skate today at the RecZone, in which only six players participated.

“You won’t see a lot of practices between now and the end of next week,” said coach Paul Maurice. “You just can’t do it. It’s too hard.”

The Canes won’t have a significant break until the first day of March, when they only play one game on in Washington during a five-day stretch. After that, however, it’s back to the grind with six contests in just nine days.

“We’re very pleased with the schedule-maker at this point,” Maurice said, cracking a smile in the process.

Besides slumping at the end of the Tuesday’s game against Boston, which Maurice suggested may be related to fatigue, it may be a good thing for the Hurricanes to roll with the positive momentum from winning their last two games against the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning by a combined score of 10-3.

“In our last four games, we’ve played consistently as well as we have all year,” said Maurice. “But the same time, two of those opponents are at the bottom of the standings, so take it for what it’s worth.”

Joni Pitkanen (upper body) and Scott Walker (concussion) were among the six players who took the ice today. No decision will be made on Pitkanen until tomorrow morning, when the Canes will prepare to take on the Colorado Avlanche at 3 p.m. Walker is progressing nicely and was extremely positive and upbeat today, but his return is still uncertain.

If Pitkanen can play, that leaves Maurice with a decision to make regarding his lineup. Tim Conboy, recently recalled from Albany, would seem like the first choice to sit, but his physical play and versatility – he’s been playing both defense and forward – could keep him for tomorrow.

“We’re going to work different things around and talk about it, because there’s a value to having Tim Conboy in our lineup,” said Maurice.

The Avalanche, in a playoff fight of their own in the Western Conference, will be on the second game of a six-game road trip, which began with an impressive 4-1 victory in Washington last night.

“We certainly appreciate what it’s like to beat Washington and how difficult it is in that building to do it, so we’ll be fully aware and have a tremendous amount of respect for that team coming in,” said Maurice.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 68 20 27 -13 47
J. Faulk 73 14 32 -18 46
E. Lindholm 72 16 20 -21 36
J. Skinner 68 18 12 -22 30
V. Rask 71 11 19 -12 30
R. Nash 67 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 69 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 73 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 45 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 37 4 15 -9 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 19 21 5 .910 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62