Manny Legace, who has not started since December 12, gets the call to start Saturday's matinee as the Carolina Hurricanes, (15-27-7) face the Philadelphia Flyers, (25-21-3) at the Wachovia Center beginning at 1 p.m. Cam Ward will take a brief one game break after starting 17 games in a row for the Canes.
Legace's predecessor, Michael Leighton, had a tough time performing well under these conditions. Some goalies need more game action than others to stay sharp. When Leighton was picked up by the Flyers on the waiver wire, his fortunes changed dramatically as he earned an 8-1 record with a shutout for his new team. The goalie has a GAA of 2.39 and save percentage of .921 so far for the Flyers. He had a GAA of 4.29 and save percentage of .850 with the Canes.
Time will tell if Legace is rusty, but it will be understandable if he is.
As good as Leighton's record is, he will not start against the Canes. Ray Emery is back from injury and posted a 2-0 shutout against the New York Rangers on Thursday night. He will get the start again on Saturday.
Chip Alexander was Tweeting from practice on Friday and mentioned that, other than the change in goal, the rest of the lineup would be the same as it was against Atlanta.
- Staal, Whitney, Jokinen
- Cullen, Kostopoulos, Samsonov
- Sutter, Tlusty, LaRose
- Brind'Amour, Yelle, Dwyer
The defensemen will be Pitkanen, Gleason, Alberts, Wards, Carson, and Wallin.
Eric Staal, Ray Whitney, and Matt Cullen are all riding three game point streaks. Staal has six points in his last three games, has scored 31 points in his last 24 games, and is tied as the eighth best scorer in the NHL since December 1. (29 points).
The Canes won their last game on Thursday but lost three in a row before that. They are 1-7-1 in the front halves of back-to-backs this season and are 2-6-1 in the second halves.
Peter Laviolette seems to have his team playing pretty well as they are 10-3-1 in their last 14 games. For more information about the Flyers, check out Broad Street Hockey, another fine SB Nation blog.
The game will be televised locally by FS Carolinas starting at 1. We will have the open game thread running at 12:30.