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Wild 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 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