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Lightning vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Streaking Canes Host Sliding Ducks

Friday, 11.15.2013 / 12:20 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Streaking Canes Host Sliding Ducks
Riding a four-game point streak, the Canes will close out their homestand against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Carolina Hurricanes began their season-long, five-game homestand 10 days ago. At that time, they were sliding, having dropped five straight games and looking for something to help turn the tide.

Michael Smith
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A dramatic 2-1 overtime victory did the trick, and now they have strung together points in four straight games, securing seven out of a possible eight points. Tonight, the Canes will close out their homestand against the Anaheim Ducks.

“We want to get every point we can every game. We feel we’re capable of doing that each night,” forward Nathan Gerbe said. “Coming out tonight we have a real good team in Anaheim.”

The Ducks are on a skid of their own, having dropped two straight in the state of Florida, as they were outscored 8-3. Even still, they sit atop the Pacific Division at 15-5-1 (31 points), thanks in part to their nine-game point streak that preceded their recent slide.

“I’m sure they’re disappointed in their game last night, so they’ll be ready to go,” head coach Kirk Muller said.

But the focus is not on the opposite locker room.

“Our focus has to be that we’ve finally turned the corner and are playing some good hockey … so we’ve got to make sure we’re ready to play a high-tempo game tonight,” Muller said.

“They’re going to be a hungry team, and they need to win,” Gerbe said. “You see teams like this all the time during the year, but it doesn’t matter. You just have to go out and play.”

The second line of Gerbe, Jordan Staal and Patrick Dwyer played a crucial role in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Colorado, shutting down the Avalanche’s top line while also contributing the team’s only two goals of the game.

That same effort will be required from the team as a whole tonight, as the Ducks rank fourth in the NHL with an average of 3.24 goals per game.

“What’s happening is the guys are buying into the fact that if we play well defensively, we’re going to give ourselves a chance to win every night, and then it’s a matter of what you bring to the table consistently. We’ve been doing that,” Muller said. “We’ve been playing well and getting results with it, which is the key.

“It’s all starting to gel together, and they’re feeling it,” Muller continued. “It’s all momentum.”

In a lineup tweak, Radek Dvorak will not play tonight, despite taking the morning skate. He left Tuesday’s game with a lower-body injury and did not practice on Thursday. In his stead, Mike Komisarek will draw in as the seventh defenseman. He skated on the fourth line in practice on Thursday and has been a healthy scratch for the team’s last seven games.

“A big part of our success is we’ve had four lines participating,” Muller said Thursday after practice. “Sometimes you have to look at the vibe of the team and say, hey, [Komisarek] has come in and has done great things with our young guys. He hasn’t said boo, he works out with Roddy and he’s just been a perfect pro. There’s value to that. Sometimes you reward a guy for his commitment.”

Despite not skating the last two days, Mike Murphy will back up Justin Peters, who will make his ninth straight start in net. Peters has stopped 110 of the last 114 shots he has faced.

The Hurricanes are 8-3-2 at home all-time versus Anaheim, and the Canes have earned points in three of the last four games at PNC Arena.

“It’s been a good thing for us lately that we’re getting better starts,” Muller said. “We’re at home, we should have some good energy tonight and we should feel good about ourselves. We should try to go after the momentum of the game early on.”



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 41 15 13 -8 28
J. Faulk 46 8 18 -14 26
J. Skinner 41 10 9 -7 19
E. Lindholm 46 9 10 -10 19
R. Nash 46 7 12 -4 19
J. Tlusty 39 11 7 -12 18
N. Gerbe 42 4 13 -2 17
V. Rask 46 6 9 -9 15
A. Sekera 44 1 14 -8 15
C. Terry 33 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 5 8 2 .916 2.32
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45