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Wild 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 64 41 18 5 172 142 87
2 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
3 NYI 65 41 21 3 207 182 85
4 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 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 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
11 PHI 64 27 25 12 170 186 66
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