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Gameday: Bergeron Expected to Play

Tuesday, 04.2.2013 / 12:45 PM ET / 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 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
11 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
12 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 55 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 53 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 55 12 19 7 31
K. Versteeg 54 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 55 9 21 1 30
E. Lindholm 55 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 48 8 12 0 20
J. Nordstrom 44 5 10 2 15
R. Hainsey 55 3 11 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 7 .909 2.34
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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