Devils vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Rangers

Stewart Gets Opportunity on Power Play

Thursday, 12.1.2011 / 12:57 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Rangers
Like many forwards on the team, Anthony Stewart has seen his role fluctuate this season.

Michael Smith
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He’s played as many as 13 minutes and as few as four. He’s played in the top six and in the bottom six, and he’s been a healthy scratch.

Tonight, when the Carolina Hurricanes take on the New York Rangers, Stewart will be inserted on the first power play unit with forwards Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner. So far this season, Stewart has seen limited use on the power play.

“It’s good to get the opportunity to show what I can do, and I’m going to do my best to make the best of it,” he said. “I’m not going to do anything too extraordinary – just be a big body out there, try to clean up some loose pucks.

“It’s not reinventing the wheel – it’s just being there and trying to knock in whatever pokes out.”

Head coach Kirk Muller sees Stewart on the power play as a new look for the struggling man-advantage, which has converted just 4-of-33 in its last seven games.

“We need some more traffic there. We need some big bodies,” Muller said. “I thought he played well the other night. I’m going to dangle the carrot with him a little bit. Everyone’s got to get a role; everyone’s got to feel a part of it.”

Stewart played 6:21 against Florida on Tuesday, down about 30 seconds from where he was in Ottawa on Sunday. Seeing time on the power play should enhance his fourth line minutes, a welcome opportunity for the 26-year-old.

“Coach is trying to get everybody in there and show what they can do, so here’s my opportunity,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for it for a bit here, so I’ve got to make the most of it. I’m excited to be out there and play in any situation I can.”

Muller’s decision to give Stewart time on the power play also stems from last season, when Stewart scored five of his 14 total goals on the power play with Atlanta. Muller noted Stewart’s size and numbers and thinks he can bring a necessary component to the man-advantage.

“I told the guys if you work hard, you’ll play, and you’ll get extra time in different situations. I think he needs a challenge,” Muller said. “If he can get going and get involved, we’ve added a player to this team.”

At even strength, Stewart will remain on the fourth line, centered by Tim Brent and opposed by newcomer Andreas Nodl. Though they only had a few minutes together on the ice against Florida, Stewart said adjusting to a new winger wasn’t too hard, especially with a speed and skill guy in Nodl.

“Being on the fourth line, we’re not trying to do anything too fancy,” he said. “Any offense we get is going to come from loose pucks we create on the forecheck. We’re not trying to dangle through the neutral zone or anything.”

ROSTER NOTES

Brian Boucher put in some extra work after the morning skate with Tom Barrasso. Expect Cam Ward to get the start in net again tonight.

Jamie McBain was also a straggler this morning, as he had a discussion with Dave Lewis and Rod Brind’Amour before putting in a personal on-ice session with them. As reported by our own John Forslund, the same six defensemen will dress tonight – this means McBain and Jay Harrison are the scratches. Harrison participated in practice yesterday and the morning skate this morning. He’s missed three games with an upper-body injury.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 68 20 27 -13 47
J. Faulk 73 14 32 -18 46
E. Lindholm 72 16 20 -21 36
J. Skinner 68 18 12 -22 30
V. Rask 71 11 19 -12 30
R. Nash 67 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 69 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 73 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 45 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 37 4 15 -9 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 19 21 5 .910 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62