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Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Ducks

Saturday, 12.18.2010 / 12:58 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Ducks
As the Hurricanes’ latest Western Conference opponent, the Anaheim Ducks are yet another unfamiliar foe. That’s not true for two specific players, who know them quite well.

Paul Branecky
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Troy Bodie and Ryan Carter, who were acquired by Carolina from Anaheim in November via a waiver claim and a trade, respectively, will be facing their former club for the first time tonight. Having each broken through with the Ducks organization, it will also be the first time they’ve found themselves in such a situation.

“This is all pretty foreign to me,” said Carter, who has become a key penalty killer with his new club. “It’s going to be weird, definitely.”

Most players say that going up against a former team is extra motivation, which seems to be the case here given that both were placed on waivers at one point. The Hurricanes claimed Bodie outright but had to make a trade for Carter once he cleared in order to make the finances work.

“I’m not a mind reader and don’t know if they were trying to send me down or get rid of me, but now I’m facing off against them and it’s a chance to show them that I can play in this league,” said Bodie.

The former Ducks said that the Hurricanes’ coaches consulted them about rookies and recalls that they were otherwise unfamiliar with, but that the staff already had a good handle on the Anaheim’s general style of play.

”They’re a physical team,” said Carter. “Lately they’ve gotten away from the bigger guys on the third and fourth line, but they haven’t changed the way they play.”

Bodie and Carter will patrol their usual spot on the Hurricanes’ fourth line tonight alongside Friday recall Zach Boychuk, who will be playing his first game of the season. One might not think of it as a customary role for Boychuk, who ranks tied for second in the American Hockey League in scoring, but the 21-year-old said that he’s become more of an energy player this season.

I just found out recently that playing physical brings out my best,” said Boychuk, who had 11 hits in the Charlotte Checkers’ 5-3 win over Hershey on Dec. 12. “I’m a small guy and when I try to hit guys I pretty much just fall over, but when you think about it, you don’t hit guys at half speed, and moving faster has helped me in all three zones.”

As Hurricanes’ television play-by-play voice John Forslund noted on Twitter Saturday morning, Charlotte coaches Jeff Daniels and Geordie Kinnear called Boychuk’s performance against Hershey, during which he notched 4 assists, the best game he’s played since joining the organization as a first-round pick in 2008.

That’s the latest in a string of strong performances that have helped him overcome certain facets of his game that held him back in the past.

“I think the knock on me was my consistency, and in training camp and the beginning of the season in Charlotte you could see that,” he said. “I have a lot of confidence now.”

Boychuk now brings that scoring touch onto a line with Bodie and Carter that has already been generating offense through a strong brand of forechecking.

“(Boychuk) has as good a chance to put the puck in the net with those guys as on any line,” said coach Paul Maurice.

Defenseman Jay Harrison took the morning skate on Saturday after missing the previous two games with an upper-body injury. Maurice said that he would participate in warm-ups tonight along with Bryan Rodney, with the team then making a decision on Harrison’s availability.

“There's more that has to happen before I put him back in," said Maurice.

In Anaheim, the Canes will be facing a team on the third contest of a brutal seven-game road trip. That swing opened with an overtime win in Washington, but suffered a setback in New York, where the Ducks became just the second team to lose to the Islanders in their last 22 games.

There is good news for the Ducks, however, as Teemu Selanne is expected to return after missing nine of the last 13 games with a groin injury.


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81