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Records on the Line vs. Islanders

Tuesday, 04.07.2009 / 11:26 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
Paul Maurice audio

As the Hurricanes play their first game since wrapping up a playoff spot against the New York Islanders tonight, a few franchise records are on the line.

Paul Branecky
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A win would be the team’s ninth in a row, tying the record set twice in 2005-06. It would also be Cam Ward’s 39th, which would break Martin Gerber’s mark set that same season.

With the postseason just around the corner, any such comparisons to that Stanley Cup champion team should be welcomed.

Tonight’s game presents an interesting challenge for the Canes, who universally agree that they don’t want to take their foot off the gas whatsoever, even after securing their place among the Eastern Conference’s top eight. However, Coach Paul Maurice said that a small lapse or two against a young, hard working team tonight wouldn’t come as a complete shock.

“I think we’re going to have to deal with it as the game goes on,” he said. “It would be foolish to think that based on the two months that we’ve just gone through that there isn’t going to be a little exhale. We’ve talked about it before and we talked about it yesterday, but we’ll do everything we can to deal with it.”

The Canes have a few lineup changes tonight, as defenseman Frantisek Kaberle will appear in his first game since March 12 at the expense of Joe Corvo. Corvo did participate in the morning skate today, but “is not 100 percent,” according to Maurice. Patrick Eaves, who missed the team’s last game with an upper body injury, is back in for Ryan Bayda. Although he missed practice yesterday, Tuomo Ruutu will play.

When the Islanders last came to town on March 20, they were playing some of their best hockey of the season despite their place as the NHL’s last-placed team. They’ve posted a record of 2-4-1 since then, indicating that run may be over. 

However, they gave the Canes all they could handle a few weeks ago, outplaying them in the second period in a way they haven’t been outplayed in a few months, so that capability remains. The Islanders are a very fast team, and one doesn’t necessarily have to be a superstar to score on uncontested breakaways.

Key defenseman Mark Streit has been nursing a groin injury but is expected to play tonight. Leading goal scorer Kyle Okposo, also with a groin injury, is not.

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STANDINGS

[SSS_STANDINGS.METROPOLITAN_DIVISION_LABEL]
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
2 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
3 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
4 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
5 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
6 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
7 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
8 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 79 21 40 -13 61
J. Skinner 71 33 21 -14 54
A. Sekera 74 11 33 4 44
A. Semin 65 22 20 1 42
J. Staal 82 15 25 2 40
J. Faulk 76 5 27 -9 32
N. Gerbe 81 16 15 -6 31
J. Tlusty 68 16 14 2 30
R. Nash 73 10 14 0 24
P. Dwyer 75 8 14 -2 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 19 14 1 .926 2.30
C. Ward 10 12 6 .898 3.06
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