Tracking the Storm

Legace to Start Against Kings

Tuesday, 11.10.2009 / 3:06 PM ET / 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.'”


SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72