The Hurricanes are up in Ottawa to take on the Senators tonight in another game with playoff implications. At the present time Carolina is a single point out of the post season mix, but with a win combined with losses by their rivals, they could end up as high as 5th in the standings by the end of the night.
The Canes have won three games in a row and have scored 15 goals in those three games. They have also won four consecutive road games, the most since the 2005-06 season when they had a five game streak on the road.
The Sens are on the other end of the spectrum having lost three in a row, although they had been playing better hockey under new coach Cory Clouston. Ottawa has a 5-3-2 record in their last 10 games.
The teams split the previous two meetings this season, each having held serve on their home ice.
Alex Auld will be in net tonight for the Sens and he will be facing Cam Ward, who will be starting his 9th game in a row.
|2008 - Cam Ward||48||2784||25||19||3||9||118||2.54||1307||1189||.910||4|
|2008 - Alex Auld||31||1821||11||14||6||5||75||2.47||839||764||.911||1|
The Sens have plenty of firepower at times and are led by their "Big Three" of Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, and Daniel Alfredsson. (Alfredsson is coming off a recent face injury and will be wearing a guard for protection.)
Matt Cullen scored his 400th career NHL point with his second goal on Sunday. Tonight will be Sergei Samsonov's 100th game in a Hurricanes jersey. Ray Whitney has points in four straight games, Tuomo Ruutu has points in three straight, and Jussi Jokinen has points in two straight.
Paul Maurice seemed happy with the lineup that was used on Sunday, and will probably stick with it once again.
- Staal, Samsonov, Ruutu
- Cullen, Whitney, LaRose
- Brind'Amour, Eaves, Ryan
- Jokinen, Conboy, Bayda
- Corvo, Gleason
- Pitkanen, Babchuk
- Seidenberg, Wallin
Of course, Jokinen will be moved at times to the third line and Conboy might help out on defense.
The game will be broadcast locally by FS Carolinas and has a scheduled start time of 7:30. We will be opening the "Live Game Thread" here on the blog at about 7.