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Blues vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Legace to Start Against Kings

Tuesday, 11.10.2009 / 3:06 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Legace to Start Against Kings
Just two days after signing him, the Carolina Hurricanes will hand new goaltender Manny Legace his first NHL start of the season Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Paul Branecky
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The game marks the first without the injured Cam Ward, and up until Tuesday’s practice it was uncertain who would start between Legace and Ward’s backup, Michael Leighton. Coach Paul Maurice said that both the opponent and the fresh enthusiasm from Legace were factors in his decision.

“He knows that conference very well and he knows their shooters,” said Maurice of Legace, who has made all 337 of his NHL appearances in the West, where the Kings call home. “I guess they could know him [too], but this is the kind of opportunity he was waiting for, he was hoping for and he was looking for. I do think the table is set for him to come in and play his best.”

Another factor was that Legace received more playing time with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves than Leighton has with Carolina, which may better prepare him for the upcoming contest. Legace has played six games, all of them starts, while Leighton has played three with only one start.

The move doesn’t necessarily indicate that the team prefers one goaltender over another for the term of Ward’s recovery from a leg laceration, which is expected to last 3-4 weeks from this past Saturday. Maurice said yesterday that he would give playing time to whichever one played well, meaning that Legace could either grab temporary hold of the starter’s position or leave a window for Leighton to start Friday’s game against the New York Islanders.

“We have thoughts on our goaltending, but with where we’re at, we’re not looking three weeks down the road here,” Maurice said. “We’re looking at tomorrow night.”

The coach added that he was feeling “pretty positive” about the status of Ray Whitney, who has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury. Whitney practiced fully on Monday and Tuesday on a line with Matt Cullen and Erik Cole.

Maurice also said he was expecting Joni Pitkanen to play, even after the defenseman missed the last two practices with a minor illness. Holding Pitkanen out of practice is the latest in a series of such precautionary moves that have occurred throughout the season due to isolated incidents of H1N1 infections throughout the league.

“Anybody that feels off now, it used to be ‘Skate it off,’" said Maurice. “Now, it’s ‘Stay at home until you feel better.'”


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 42 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 47 9 19 -13 28
E. Lindholm 47 9 11 -11 20
J. Tlusty 40 12 7 -11 19
J. Skinner 42 10 9 -7 19
R. Nash 47 7 12 -4 19
N. Gerbe 43 5 13 -3 18
V. Rask 47 6 9 -10 15
A. Sekera 45 1 14 -6 15
C. Terry 34 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .918 2.30
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45