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Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Peters Gets First Start of Season

Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 12:15 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Peters Gets First Start of Season
The Carolina Hurricanes will close out their season series against the Buffalo Sabres tonight in Raleigh, the first of three straight home games for the Hurricanes.

Michael Smith
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Justin Peters will get his first start of the season for the Canes in net tonight, as Dan Ellis remains sidelined with illness.

“Petey is excited,” head coach Kirk Muller said. “We’re going to go with his energy and give him an opportunity to jump right in and play.”

Following the end of the work stoppage and the recall of Ellis, Peters started 16 of the Charlotte Checkers’ next 20 games and was named to the Western Conference’s starting lineup in the AHL All-Star Classic. In total, Peters has logged a 22-12-1 record. He ranks second in the AHL in shutouts (6), fourth in wins (22), seventh in save percentage (.921) and ninth in goals-against average (2.29).

“Players' careers are always a learning curve, every experience you have. Goaltending takes the most time to mature. He’s gone through some ups and downs, opportunities early on when he wanted to be here and it didn’t happen, and now’s his chance,” Muller said. “He’s had a great first half down in Charlotte and playing well recently, so he should have confidence, and he should look at the things leading up to now, all the experiences that should make him go out, play hockey, get the job done and help our hockey club win hockey games.”

Jeff Skinner, who in his rookie year roomed with Peters, shouted, “Pete Dawg, woof woof!” when he stepped onto the ice for the morning skate. While the circumstance of Peters’ arrival in Raleigh isn’t ideal, Skinner was glad to see the well-deserved call-up.

“He really helped me out. It was my first time moving really far away from home,” Skinner said. “To have a guy like him looking out for me and guiding me through the season really helped. It’s nice to see a guy like that get rewarded.”

And as far as goaltender roommates go, Peters was pretty normal, Skinner said.

“All three of our goalies are pretty normal,” he said. “You hear some crazy stories about some pretty weird goalies, but we’re lucky to have some pretty normal ones.

“He gets fired up sometimes. He’s got a bit of a temper, but other than that, if you stay on his good side, it’s pretty normal,” Skinner joked.

Peters joins a contingent of players who have spent time in Charlotte this season, including Riley Nash, Drayson Bowman, Bobby Sanguinetti, Justin Faulk, Tim Wallace and Brett Sutter.

“You look at guys that have had the opportunity and taken advantage of it,” Muller said. “Now it’s Peters. You’ve just got to go, believe in yourself and be confident. We’re not asking for anyone to be heroes or superstars. Just go out, fit in, do your job and we’ve got to win as a group of 20 guys right now.

“He’s coming into a positive atmosphere, too, after the last few games,” Muller continued. “The team’s winning, and that helps him, as well.”

The Hurricanes are looking to extend their winning streak to a season-long four games tonight against Buffalo, the last of three against the Sabres. The Canes won both previous meetings between the two teams this season, 6-3 and 3-1, respectively, played on back-to-back nights in late January. Buffalo enters tonight’s tilt riding a four-game point streak, having won three of their last four.

In their last three games, the Canes have averaged 4.33 goals per game, bolstered by their top-line production. Eric Staal, Jiri Tlusty and Alexander Semin have combined for 17 points (7g, 10a) in the last three games. On the season, the trio has collectively registered 62 points (27g, 35a) and a plus-45 rating. All three players ranked tied for second in the league in plus/minus at plus-15 coming into tonight’s game.



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
3 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 65 35 20 10 193 162 80
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
10 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
11 OTT 61 27 23 11 173 166 65
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 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