ATLANTA GA - DECEMBER 16: Eric Staal #12 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates his goal against the Atlanta Thrashers with Ian White #7 Joni Pitkanen #25 and Jussi Jokinen #36 at Philips Arena on December 16 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
After a two week hiatus, the Carolina Hurricanes, (14-12-4), are finally scheduled to play a game on home ice again as they will do batlle with the Anaheim Ducks, (17-14-4), tonight at the RBC Center.
The team's five game road trip ended up being a hugely successful one as the Canes went 3-1-1 during the stretch. Add in the win against Colorado the night before they left on the road, and the club is now 4-1-1 in their last six. The Carolina franchise presently finds itself sitting in ninth spot in the Eastern Conference, just four points out of a playoff spot behind Boston and six points behind division foe Tampa Bay, who presently is in seventh.
Anaheim has played five more games than Carolina, but they are sitting in sixth position in the tough Western Conference. The organization was pleased enough with their results so far this season that they recently signed head coach Randy Carlyle to a one year contract extension.
The Ducks are also 4-1-1 in their last six games including an overtime win in Washington on Wednesday and a loss to the struggling New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Jonas Hiller is the main man in net for this team and he'll most likely be the one to square off against Cam Ward tonight.
|2010 - Cam Ward||26||1473||13||9||63||2.57||839||776||.925||1|
|2010 - Jonas Hiller||30||1724||15||11||76||2.65||951||875||.920||1|
The visitors are led in scoring by the always dangerous Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Teemu Selanne.
|2010 - Corey Perry||35||16||20||36||6||51||5||1||3||116|
|2010 - Ryan Getzlaf||35||11||22||33||3||18||4||0||4||60|
|2010 - Teemu Selanne||26||10||18||28||-1||14||6||0||0||69|
For more information about the Ducks, check out our SB Nation partner, Anaheim Calling.
Eric Staal still leads the Canes in scoring and has maintained his point per game pace.
|2010 - Eric Staal||30||13||17||30||-5||22||4||1||3||113|
|2010 - Jeff Skinner||30||8||14||22||-5||6||2||0||1||80|
|2010 - Jussi Jokinen||30||5||16||21||-3||10||3||0||0||59|
Zach Boychuk will make his debut this season for the Canes tonight as he got the call to play in place of the injured Jiri Tlusty. Boychuk will be trying to ensure that he does not get re-assigned to Charlotte with some outstanding play, but he'll be working his way up from the fourth line because he was matched with Ryan Carter and Troy Bodie at the morning skate.
Speaking of Bodie and Carter, they will be facing their former team tonight. The Hurricanes traded for Carter and picked up Bodie off the waiver wire from the Ducks. Both players were ready to be shelved by the team from California, yet both have performed very well for the Canes. They should have some extra zip in their game tonight as they try to show up their former bosses.
Need a roster sheet to keep up with the changes? Hockeymom's game day guide has been updated and can be printed out for taking to the rink.
With the start tonight, Cam Ward will have started 11 straight games.
The game will be televised locally by FS Carolinas starting at 7 p.m.
Will the Hurricanes continue to battle from behind, or will they have a quick start and take the lead in the game? Find out at the RBC tonight.