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Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Canes Face Boston Without Faulk

Monday, 01.28.2013 / 12:30 PM / 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 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61