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Gameday: Canes Face Boston Without Faulk

Monday, 01.28.2013 / 12:30 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Canes Face Boston Without Faulk
Defenseman Justin Faulk will not dress for the Carolina Hurricanes tonight, as they take on the Boston Bruins in the first game of a two-game homestand.

Michael Smith
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Head coach Kirk Muller confirmed the 20-year-old would be sidelined with an upper-body injury that he suffered Friday night in Buffalo. Faulk logged 11:51 of ice time before leaving and not returning in the second period.

“We’re going to miss him, but the other guys have to step up,” Muller said.

The upside to this injury news is that Faulk remains day-to-day. With the Hurricanes sitting idle until Friday, it’s not unreasonable to expect him back in the lineup for the team’s next game against Ottawa.

“I don’t think he’s going to be out long, which is good news,” Muller said. “And we’ve got a few days to recover.”

While the defensive pairings were still up in the air as of the morning skate, Bobby Sanguinetti will re-enter the lineup. The 24-year-old Trenton, N.J., native, who skated in the team’s first three games, was the healthy extra on Friday in Buffalo.

“You want to stay as fresh as possible and be sure that you’re ready to go when you get called,” Sanguinetti said.

Most recently, Sanguinetti was paired with Jay Harrison, who’s familiar with playing alongside young defensemen. Last season, Harrison was matched with the then-rookie Faulk.

“He’s strong in front of the net and moves the puck well,” Sanguinetti said of Harrison. “He’s good on the ice with talking and making sure I’m in the right spots. He’s been good for my game.”

Carrying seven defenseman has allowed the Hurricanes to rotate players in and out of their group of dressed six. With Faulk unable to play tonight, the Canes will ice six blue-liners that have already seen game-action in this young season.

“Depth is a big part of this season,” Muller said. “Everyone is going to face it somewhere along the line, I’m sure.”

The Hurricanes’ forward lines have remained unchanged, as Zach Boychuk will be the healthy extra for the fourth straight game. In net tonight for Carolina is Cam Ward, who is looking to build on his first win of the season, a 30-save effort against Buffalo on Thursday.

Opposite Ward is expected to be Kazakhstan native Anton Khudobin, who will get his first start of the season. Tuukka Rask, who is 3-0-1 on the year with a 1.96 goals-against average and .925 save percentage, is likely resting for Boston’s game in New Jersey tomorrow night.

In seven career games, Khudobin is 5-1 with a 1.32 goals-against average, a .961 save percentage and one shutout. He played in 26 games with Moscow Oblast Atlant of the KHL, notching a 6-14-4 record and 2.96 goals-against average.

Boston brings a four-game point streak to Raleigh, as they look to open the season with a five-game point streak for the first time since 1990-91. This is the first of three meetings between the Hurricanes and Bruins, two of which take place at PNC Arena. Last season, the Canes swept the season series for the first time in franchise history, as they outscored the then-defending Stanley Cup champions 14-5.



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
4 TBL 50 28 18 4 131 115 60
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 49 25 17 7 126 122 57
10 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
11 CAR 52 23 21 8 124 138 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 53 20 28 5 133 167 45

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 52 14 19 -15 33
K. Versteeg 51 10 21 2 31
V. Rask 50 12 18 0 30
E. Staal 52 9 21 1 30
J. Skinner 52 18 11 -4 29
J. Staal 52 11 16 4 27
E. Lindholm 52 8 16 -7 24
A. Nestrasil 45 5 12 -4 17
R. Hainsey 52 3 11 -14 14
J. Liles 52 5 7 -4 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 14 11 5 .905 2.41
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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