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Capitals vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Bergeron Expected to Play

Tuesday, 04.02.2013 / 12:45 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Bergeron Expected to Play
Marc-Andre Bergeron was preparing to face the Florida Panthers tonight in Tampa Bay.

Michael Smith
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Instead, he’ll be on a plane to Raleigh to suit up for the Carolina Hurricanes against another Southeast Division rival, the Washington Capitals.

According to head coach Kirk Muller, Bergeron, who will wear No. 47, is expected to be in the lineup.

“He’s a veteran guy, and I’ve worked with him before. We’ll simplify it at the beginning,” Muller said. “He has enough base and hockey sense to jump in and feel comfortable.”

Bergeron, 32, spent the 2009-10 season with the Montreal Canadiens when Muller served as an assistant coach. In 60 games, Bergeron posted seven power-play goals and a career second-best 34 points (13g, 21a).

“I’m familiar with him from being with him in Montreal, and we’re bringing him in for the same reason as there: his specialty is the power play,” Muller said. “He has a cannon, and it doesn’t matter what system you have, it’s just a matter of shooting the puck here tonight.”

The Hurricanes’ power play is 0-for-11 in their last two games and 16-for-126 (12.7 percent) on the season, which ranks last in the NHL. Despite the effort level being present on the power play in Toronto and Winnipeg, the execution has been lacking for a large majority of this season.

“It really just coincides with five-on-five hockey. There’s a compete level that you have to do on the power play,” Muller said. “You still have to win battles, face-offs and get those second and third efforts.

“Last night, the execution wasn’t there. We’ve got to be consistent on our work ethic and outwork the PK.”

Where Bergeron, who has logged a goal and four assists in 12 games this season, fits into the Canes’ lineup remains unknown. Muller said the team will make final lineup decisions after warm-ups.

Goaltender Dan Ellis will get the nod in net. Ellis missed three games last week with a leg laceration and served as the back-up to Justin Peters on Monday in Montreal. Ellis is 4-5-1 on the season with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

Tuomo Ruutu will miss his second straight game with a lower-body injury, according to Muller.

Tonight’s game marks the fourth of five meetings between the Canes and Capitals this season. After topping the Caps 4-0 in Washington, D.C., on March 12, the Hurricanes dropped a disappointing 3-2 decision at home two days later. The deflating loss, in which the Canes saw a 2-0 first-period lead disappear in the final 40 minutes, began a seven-game winless stretch that Carolina snapped Saturday in Winnipeg.

And even with last night’s 4-1 defeat in Montreal, the Hurricanes aren’t panicking. Time and games are still in their favor.

“We’re not in the do or die mentally. We’re going after consistency,” Muller said. “Quite frankly, we need more support from our support cast. The production from our D and bottom six is not there.

“When we get the compete level and focus like that on a consistent basis, that’s when you’ll see our team move along in the right direction again.”



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

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
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
J. Staal 23 4 11 -1 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 19 4 .914 2.35
A. Khudobin 6 11 3 .901 2.73