Tracking the Storm
 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Bruins

Allen Says No Spillover Emotions from October

Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 12:06 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
X
Share with your Friends


Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Bruins
The last meeting between the Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins wasn’t exactly cordial, but a lot has changed since mid-October.

Michael Smith
Follow on Twitter
In a span of less than a week, the Canes met the Bruins twice, once at home and once on the road. Carolina won the first meeting at the RBC Center on Oct. 12, 3-2. Six days later in Boston, an emotionally-heated game resulted in a 4-1 Hurricanes win. That game featured a season-high 72 penalty minutes for the Bruins.

That was then, when Boston started 3-7, likely suffering from a Stanley Cup hangover.

Since then, the team has won 25 of 30 and 11 of 13 on the road. The Bruins sit atop the Northeast Division and are just a point shy of first place in the Eastern Conference. They didn’t lose a game in regulation in November (12-0-1), but they have lost two of their last six.

Defenseman Bryan Allen doesn’t put much stock into the team’s last meeting. Again, that was then, and this is now.

“I don’t even really remember what happened,” he said when asked if there’d be any spillover emotions. “So, I guess not.”

Head coach Kirk Muller wasn’t with the organization for the last game in Boston, but that doesn’t mean he is unfamiliar with the Beantown game plan.

“I’ve seen them enough – I think three times in the playoffs in the past five years (with Montreal) – so it’s an opponent I’m familiar with,” he said. “You’ve got to beat them at your game. We’ve got to use our speed, make them skate 200 feet and get them into playing our game. They like to draw you in with stuff after whistles, and that’s not our style.”

Defenseman Jay Harrison talked earlier this week about the importance of physicality in the Hurricanes’ game. He said that when leading in hits, the Canes also usually have an edge in scoring opportunities.

“When you see the hits, it means you’re getting in on the forecheck and getting the chance to break up plays, so I think it definitely gives us a better opportunity to win,” Allen said. “They’re going to come hard and compete, and we have to try to match that tonight.”

If the Hurricanes can put forth the effort they did in Tampa Bay on Thursday and even against Philadelphia on Tuesday, there’s no reason they can’t win their third game against Boston this season. Eric Staal might figure to be a big piece in that success, as well.

Staal brings a four-game point streak into tonight’s game. In that stretch, he’s compiled 8 points (1g, 7a) and two three-point games. He was a plus-three in Tampa Bay on Thursday. In that game, his top line with Tuomo Ruutu and Jiri Tlusty combined for 9 points (3g, 6a); Staal had a season-high three assists. In two games against Boston this season, Staal has a goal.

INJURY UPDATE

Jeff Skinner will not play tonight. Muller hinted toward the sophomore forward’s return being tomorrow night in Washington when the Canes wrap up a back-to-back set. Skinner skated with the team again today, and after the team left the ice, he stayed on for one-on-three drills with the coaches.

“Yeah, I think they were actually really trying, and they couldn’t get the puck from him,” Muller said, laughing. “So that’s a good sign that he’s close to coming back.”

The Hurricanes will be without the services of Jaroslav Spacek, at least through this weekend. Spacek took a puck in the face on Tuesday but played in Tampa Bay with a full cage on Thursday. With Spacek out of the lineup, Derek Joslin will see his first game action in a month. He last played with the Canes on Dec. 15 but did skate in four games with the Charlotte Checkers during a recent conditioning stint. He earned three assists in that stretch.

Chad LaRose skated before the team did this morning. Muller said LaRose is now day-to-day. Though LaRose won’t play this weekend, Muller said he hopes to get him in the lineup before the All-Star break. The Canes have four games in seven days following this weekend.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
7 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
11 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 55 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 53 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 55 12 19 7 31
K. Versteeg 54 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 55 9 21 1 30
E. Lindholm 55 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 48 8 12 0 20
J. Nordstrom 44 5 10 2 15
R. Hainsey 55 3 11 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 7 .909 2.34
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
Alumni Game