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Capitals vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Murphy Will Back Up Peters

Monday, 02.20.2012 / 12:30 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Murphy Will Back Up Peters
At the start of the season, the Carolina Hurricanes would have never predicted that the Charlotte Checkers' goaltending tandem would become their own just months later.

Michael Smith
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But, injuries to both Cam Ward and Brian Boucher have resulted in Justin Peters and Mike Murphy handling goaltending duties for the Hurricanes, at least for tonight.

Ward had a small “tweak” that kept him out of practice on Thursday. After backing up Peters on Friday, Ward started Saturday in New York but only played for two periods. Peters played in the third period, and will start again tonight. Ward is officially day-to-day with a lower body injury.

The Canes recalled Murphy to back up Peters tonight against Washington. Murphy said he got the call yesterday and made the snowy trek to Raleigh around 6 p.m.

“It was like driving through Canada last night,” he said. “I didn’t expect to drive through North Carolina like that. A little taste of home.”

While this is Murphy’s second National Hockey League stint, it is his first time in Raleigh. His first NHL recall was in early December, in the midst of the Hurricanes’ Western Canada road swing.

During that time, he made two brief appearances in Calgary and Winnipeg, in what he said was “great to get a taste of the NHL.” The game in Calgary ended up being a historical one, as Murphy became the first NHL goaltender to record a loss before allowing a goal.

Three nights later in Winnipeg, Murphy played over 27 minutes and made seven saves on seven shots. He brings a 1.000 save percentage into tonight’s game, despite being 0-1 in his NHL career.

“It’s great to be back,” he said. “It’s unfortunate with the injuries, but it’s always a lot of fun to practice with this team.”

Murphy himself is just now recovering from an injury he suffered in warm-ups with Charlotte on Jan. 24. He hasn’t played in a game since Jan. 21, but he didn't appear to show any signs of rust in the morning skate.

“I’m good,” he said. “I felt really good out there today.”

Head coach Kirk Muller said he hopes to have Ward back in the fold by Thursday, when the Anaheim Ducks come to town. Until then, he feels confident with the tandem in net.

“You deal with what you’re dealt with as far as injuries,” he said. “Peters will be in net tonight. Murph is healthy, and he’s capable of playing. He’s ready to go in at any time.”

Muller said he pulled Ward after two periods on Saturday for precautionary reasons.

“It’s a tough position not to be able to perform at 100 percent, and I didn’t think he was at 100 percent,” he said. “I’m not going to take any chances. We’ve got a lot of games in March, as well as a big part of the schedule right now at home.”

On Friday, Peters made 35 saves on 37 shots against a San Jose team that averages the most shots per game in the League at nearly 35. That was Peters’ first start since Jan. 7, and his first start at home since Jan. 9, 2011. His win was the first for a goaltender other than Ward since that Jan. 9 date, a 4-3 overtime win over the Atlanta Thrashers.

In relief of Ward on Saturday, Peters made nine saves on 10 shots, allowing the game-winning goal on a chaotic scrum in front of the net.

In other injury news, Jiri Tlusty will play tonight, despite not taking part in the morning skate. Chad LaRose skated in his place but will not dress. Muller made some slight changes to the lines, which can be seen here.

The last meeting between the Canes and Capitals came on Jan. 20 at the RBC Center, a 3-0 win for the Hurricanes. Jussi Jokinen had two goals and Ward made 23 saves. The Capitals enter with a 3-5-2 record in their last 10 games; they've dropped three of their last four.

Coming into tonight’s game, the Canes have won five of their last six at home, including two straight in February.

“I think the focus has been great. We’ve really built a momentum with the fan base. It helps that people are energetic and loud here,” Muller said. “It’s a lot easier to get the right match-up at home. We’ve been able to play a good, hard, fast, high-tempo game here.”



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 60 39 16 5 162 133 83
2 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
3 NYR 59 37 16 6 186 145 80
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
6 DET 59 33 15 11 173 154 77
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 60 26 21 13 145 169 65
10 PHI 61 26 24 11 162 178 63
11 OTT 58 25 23 10 166 161 60
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 59 26 29 4 155 184 56
14 TOR 60 24 31 5 167 183 53
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 61 18 38 5 114 204 41

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 59 11 27 -16 38
E. Staal 54 18 18 -9 36
E. Lindholm 58 11 15 -16 26
J. Skinner 54 15 9 -16 24
J. Tlusty 52 13 10 -17 23
R. Nash 56 7 14 -9 21
N. Gerbe 55 6 14 -13 20
A. Sekera 57 2 17 -7 19
V. Rask 57 8 10 -18 18
J. McClement 59 4 12 1 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 19 4 .914 2.35
A. Khudobin 6 11 3 .901 2.73