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Blues vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Rangers

Stewart Gets Opportunity on Power Play

Thursday, 12.01.2011 / 12:57 PM / 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 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