The Hurricanes are hosting the Eastern Conference leading Boston Bruins tonight in another important match-up at the RBC. The Bruins are in the midst of a four game losing streak (0-2-2), while the Canes just beat Buffalo after losing their previous two.
Boston has beaten the Hurricanes in three meetings so far this season and could sweep the season series with another win tonight. Believe it or not, neither franchise has swept the other in a season series, ever since the Whalers entered the league in 1979. Caniacs will be hoping that amazing streak does not come to an end this game, the 170th all time meeting between the two clubs.
The top three scorers for the Bruins are Mark Savard, David Krejci, and Phil Kessel.
|2008 - Marc Savard||57||21||42||63||26||54||7||0||2||1||157||13.4|
|2008 - David Krejci||57||19||38||57||30||12||5||1||5||0||102||18.6|
|2008 - Phil Kessel||51||24||20||44||14||16||7||0||4||1||167||14.4|
The Hurricanes are coming off a splendid performance against the Buffalo Sabres and should be back to feeling good about themselves. The top three scorers for the Canes are Ray Whitney, Eric Staal, and Tuomo Ruutu.
|2008 - Ray Whitney||56||17||27||44||-14||20||3||0||1||2||158||10.8|
|2008 - Eric Staal||56||23||16||39||-1||42||10||0||6||0||240||9.6|
|2008 - Tuomo Ruutu||53||16||16||32||-6||55||4||0||3||0||115||13.9|
Justin Williams, Scott Walker, and Tim Gleason will all miss tonight's game. (Gleason is listed day-to-day, but Coach Maurice said that he will sit out tonight.) Michael Ryan has been called in from Albany to fill in on the fourth line and Frank Kaberle will be paired with Nic Wallin on the blueline.
Look for Cam Ward to be in net for Carolina and Tim Thomas was first off the ice this morning for Boston. He will probably get the nod for them.
|2008 - Cam Ward||44||2546||22||18||3||8||109||2.57||1218||1109||.911||4|
|2008 - Tim Thomas||36||2176||24||7||5||2||77||2.12||1108||1031||.931||3|
As we have talked about already, Glen Wesley will have his jersey retired tonight in a ceremony that is expected to last 20 minutes or so. Special guests such as Derek Sanderson and Ray Bourque will be among those attending. There will be a capacity crowd, so the Canes are asking folk to arrive a bit early.
The SBN Bruins blog is Stanley Cup of Chowder, and they are reporting that Boston is close to acquiring Erik Cole. But seeing that Edmonton is currently in 6th place in the Western Conference, I would be very surprised if the Oilers are ready to throw in the towel and trade Cole for a couple of prospects, just yet. The move would give the appearance that they had given up on the playoffs, would it not? Unless of course they know for sure that Cole will not re-sign with them in the offseason. We will see.
The game will be broadcast by FS Carolinas and we will have our "Live Game Thread" as always. Puck drop will probably be about 7:30.