Flyers vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Fan Appreciation Week Kicks Off vs. Stars

Thursday, 04.3.2014 / 12:15 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Fan Appreciation Week Kicks Off vs. Stars
Just 6 games remain in the 2013-14 regular season, and as head coach Kirk Muller has said, there is still a lot of fight left with the Canes.
Just six games remain in the 2013-14 regular season, and as head coach Kirk Muller has said, there is still a lot of fight left with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Michael Smith
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That was evident on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, when the Canes rode a tremendous team effort to a 4-1 win against a team destined for a top playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

“We’re picking up points with wins and some [overtime losses], but [overtime losses] aren’t going to cut it right now. We have to get the two points,” Muller said. “We’re playing hard and smart. Our special teams are winning that game right now, our goaltending has been strong and five-on-five we haven’t given up much. It’s just scoring timely goals hasn’t been there in some of these games where we could maybe make the difference.”

On Tuesday, the Canes got a timely goal from Justin Faulk late in a first period that was otherwise controlled by the Penguins. The Hurricanes would go on to add three more goals, two from Elias Lindholm, to secure a 4-1 win.

“They’ve really elevated their game, whether it’s five-on-five or on the power play. They have nice chemistry with (Riley) Nash, and they’ve been producing offensively,” Muller said of Lindholm and linemate Jeff Skinner, who is riding a career-high-tying six-game point streak. “They’ve been playing a real smart game, competing, challenging the defense and they’re on the puck getting lots of opportunities.”

Tonight, the Canes host the Dallas Stars, who control the second wild card spot in the Western Conference with 85 points (37-27-11). The two teams faced off in Dallas shortly after the Olympic break, a game in which the Stars scored twice shorthanded en route to a 4-1 victory.

They key to reversing those fortunes tonight?

“A lot of puck management,” Muller said, simply. “When we played them last time in there, they really had the pace on us. We have to manage the puck well tonight. We have to get it behind their D and make them play in their zone.”

Anton Khudobin, who made 30 saves on 31 shots in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, will get his second start versus Dallas this year as he looks for win No. 18 on the season. His .930 save percentage ranks third among all NHL goaltenders.

In other lineup notes, forwards Alexander Semin (who missed Tuesday’s game) and Drayson Bowman did not skate this morning and are questionable for tonight with illnesses. Zach Boychuk has been recalled on an emergency basis.

This marks the third recall for Boychuk this season, who has tallied a goal and three assists in nine NHL games this season. Boychuk earned CCM/AHL Player of the Month honors in March after posting 22 points (9g, 13a) in 16 games.

Forward Jiri Tlusty will remain out of the lineup tonight with an upper-body injury. He didn’t skate this morning and is day-to-day.

Defenseman Ron Hainsey did not skate this morning, either, but should be good to go for tonight, Muller said. Hainsey and his wife are expecting in the very near future.

Tonight’s game, the first of three remaining regular-season home games for the Canes, kicks off Fan Appreciation Week. The first 10,000 fans in the door tonight will receive a Justin Faulk bobblehead presented by Compuware. The games on Saturday and Thursday feature more giveaways – a team poster and a hat – plus South Plaza Parties and more. Additional details can be found here.



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 70 21 28 -12 49
J. Faulk 75 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 74 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 70 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 73 11 20 -12 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 71 8 17 -13 25
J. McClement 75 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 47 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 39 4 16 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60