The Canes are in a rough patch presently and now have lost five of their last six games, as well as nine of their last twelve. The Habs have two overtime wins in their last three games and have won six of their last nine.
This game marks the first meeting between former Hurricane Erik Cole and his Carolina teammates since the free agent moved on to Montreal for more money and a longer term contract than what was offered at "home" this past summer. Chip Alexander recently spoke with Cole and you can see that story here.
There has not been any report of line changes yet, formations which have had mixed results over the past two games. In case you have missed the changes, most significantly, Eric Staal has been moved to wing, and Anthony Stewart has been a healthy scratch. Also, Joni Pitkanen has been out with a lower body injury.
According to the Hurricanes official depth chart, these are the lines:
- Staal, Sutter, LaRose
- Skinner, Jokinen, Ruutu
- Ponikarovsky, Brett, Dwyer
- Boychuk, Dalpe, Tlusty
- Harrison, Gleason
- McBain, Allen
- Joslin, Kaberle
Cam Ward will be starting for the Hurricanes and will most likely be facing Carey Price for the Habs. Both of these goalies saw a lot of rubber last season and they are on pace to do it again this year. Ward is currently fourth in the NHL with 428 saves.
|2011 - Cam Ward||15||838||6||7||45||3.22||473||428||.905||1|
|2011 - Carey Price||15||908||6||6||37||2.44||402||365||.908||0|
The Carolina goalie has had much success in Montreal, starting back in the 2006 playoffs. He has a 12-6-2 lifetime record against the Habs. Price is 4-4-1 lifetime against Carolina.
The Canes have an 8-2-2 record at the Bell Centre since the 2005-06 season, although they lost both games in Montreal last season.
Staal, Ruutu, Skinner, and Jokinen each have two game point streaks for Carolina. Jeff Skinner leads all scorers with 18 points, (7G 11A). Next closest is Jokinen with 12 points.
Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec both lead the Habs with 14 points each.
|2011 - Max Pacioretty||17||8||6||14||3||8||0||0||1||63|
|2011 - Tomas Plekanec||17||4||10||14||1||14||1||0||2||51|
The Habs are missing a few defensemen. Andrei Markov is still out while Hal Gill and Jaro Spacek are both questionable for tonight. Mike Cammalleri had missed a couple of games with a lower body injury, but he is due back for this one.
Tonight's game will not be televised locally, you will have to watch it on Center Ice or check for online feeds. 99.9 The Fan will have the radio broadcast with Chuck Kaiton. We will have our open game thread ready to go at 6:30.