Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Canes Hope Home Cooking Continues

Thursday, 02.23.2012 / 12:08 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
X
Share with your Friends


Gameday: Canes Hope Home Cooking Continues
There is likely no better time than now for the Carolina Hurricanes to have an extended homestand.

Michael Smith
Follow on Twitter
The Hurricanes are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and 7-2-1 in their last 10 games at home. They are riding a three-game home winning streak entering tonight’s contest, and they’ve won six of their last seven games at home.

“If you want to be a good team, you have to be good at home,” forward Jeff Skinner said. “As of late, we’ve just been playing with a little more confidence, and I think the compete level is up. It’s been the same story now for about a month, month-and-a-half.”

The Canes topped the Caps 5-0 in their most recent home game, riding the energy of the raucous RBC Center crowd to a dominating performance. After the game, numerous players specifically noted the energy in the building, and Skinner repeated much of that today.

“It’s a loud building, and the other night we had a great crowd,” he said. “It’s easy to feed off that energy, and it makes it tough on the other teams coming in to play through that.”

Carolina will need the partisan crowd again tonight when the Anaheim Ducks, who are also looking to make late-season playoff push, fly into town.

The Ducks fell 3-2 to the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Tuesday, halting Anaheim’s nine-game point streak, dating back to Feb. 3. They went 6-0-3 in that stretch, winning twice in extra hockey.

Tonight’s game will bring an end to an eight-game road trip for the Ducks. Bolstered by that nine-game point streak, they’ve gone 4-1-2 on the cross-country trek thus far. In their last 13 road games, dating back to late December, they’ve gone 8-2-3.

Yet, the team still has a losing record on the road at 10-12-8. The culprit? Winning just two of their first 17 road games; from Oct. 29 until Dec. 26, the Ducks went winless in 13 straight road games (earned points in four).

They’ve clearly turned their road game around since then, and Canes’ head coach Kirk Muller is well aware of that.

“It’s awareness of their top guys when they’re on the ice,” Muller said of the gameplan. “They’re big bodies, and they like to cycle. We’ve got to be prepared to that type of game.”

One of those top guys is All-Star Corey Perry, who netted the game-winning goal when these two teams met last on Feb. 8 in Anaheim. Perry is a goal shy of 30 for the season, and he has 48 points, which ranks second on the team.

Hurricanes fans probably recall that game in Anaheim two weeks ago. As Jussi Jokinen swooped around the net, Perry trailed him, reached his stick out and tripped him. The near official, Tim Peel, did not call a penalty, and Perry scored the game-winning goal just seconds later. (As a pertinent side note, Peel is not on the officiating crew for tonight, which includes Gord Dwyer and Wes McCauley.)

Skinner recalled this, but at the same time, he said it was important to have a short memory.

“Every game is so important down the stretch that you have to put things in the past pretty quickly,” he said. “You’ve got to come out and play consistently. To be consistent, you have to be focused and concentrated on the game that’s coming up. We played a pretty good road game against them last game.”

Muller also said he thought the team played a good road game, despite the unfortunate result.

Starting in net tonight for the Hurricanes will be Justin Peters, who is coming off a 17-save shutout against Washington on Monday. This will be the first set of two straight starts for the goaltender since he did so last year in early January. He won both of those games, starting in place of a not-so-healthy Cam Ward.

Ward skated at the end of the morning skate today, and Muller is optimistic he will return to practice on Friday.

“We want to make sure no one gets in there until they’re 100 percent healthy,” he said. “We’ll give Ward and [Boucher] that time to do that. In the mean time, Peters has done a good job, and we’ve got Murph up here to get a little bit of experience.”



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 61 12 28 -16 40
E. Staal 56 18 19 -10 37
E. Lindholm 60 11 16 -16 27
J. Skinner 56 16 10 -16 26
R. Nash 58 7 15 -9 22
N. Gerbe 57 7 15 -11 22
V. Rask 59 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 61 6 12 3 18
J. Staal 25 4 12 -2 16
A. Nestrasil 33 4 10 4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 19 4 .913 2.37
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60