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Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Lightning

2011-12 Season Picks Up Right Where 10-11 Left Off

Friday, 10.7.2011 / 11:58 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Lightning

In game 82 of the 2010-11 season, the then already-playoff-bound Tampa Bay Lightning came to Raleigh to face off with the playoff-hungry Carolina Hurricanes in the season finale.

Michael Smith
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In order to reach the postseason, all the Canes had to do was win. Backed by a partisan home crowd in a do or die game against a familiar division opponent, what could go wrong?

A lot did. The Bolts thrashed the Hurricanes 6-2 in a game that just never felt right, even when Chad LaRose brought the Canes within striking distance at 4-2 about midway through the third period.

Two days shy of exactly six months later, the two teams meet again in game one of the 2011-12 season. A fresh start. A clean slate.

The players – including the ones who weren’t here at the conclusion of last season – were clearly excited to get the season underway. The short skate this morning was vocal and quick-paced.

Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice was also visibly eager for the season to begin.

“This is exciting,” he said. “It’s funny. You almost forget about it. You know it’s going to be exciting, and then you get to that day and it’s Christmas Eve again. You’re just excited about the fresh start, and everybody’s optimistic and feeling good.”

In this morning’s brief skate, the Canes did not reveal any of their lines, but Maurice said they would start with the same combinations seen yesterday.

“I think we are set up to be good the way we are, and there are options to move people around to present a different look to different teams,” he said.

With nine defenseman on their active roster, three will sit tonight. Jamie McBain, Derek Joslin and Ryan Murphy will be healthy scratches. With a back-to-back set, we might see one of those break into the lineup tomorrow.

“There are three guys that desperately want to get into the lineup,” Maurice said. “We want to encourage that competition. We’re starting the six players that we feel are best prepared today to be good tonight through their camps and through their body of work they’ve done over the course of their NHL careers.”

With the lineup set and the players and coaching staff ready, all that is left is to play the game. If you’re coming out to the game tonight, be sure to check out the number of pre-game festivities going on in and around the RBC Center. There are some very special things planned before the face-off, which builds on the excitement already in place.

While a playoff berth isn’t directly on the line tonight, the stakes are still the same, as two points are up for grabs. Whether it’s game one or 82, those points are always valuable.

“Every game is big, but there’s something on this one,” Maurice said. “Opening Night – you want to get on that good feeling, that good roll. Playing the team that knocked you out, you have a little more bite in your step, and they’re aware of it. It’s going to be a great game tonight.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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