The Phoenix Coyotes, (17-13-3) visit the Carolina Hurricanes, (10-18-6) tonight for an inter-conference game at the RBC. This will be a homecoming for sorts for Ray Whitney while youngster Riley Nash will be making his NHL debut for Carolina.
Whitney currently leads the 'Yotes in scoring and he is followed closely by another former Hurricane, Radim Vrbata.
|2011 - Ray Whitney||33||11||19||30||9||10||3||0||0||73|
|2011 - Radim Vrbata||33||16||13||29||10||8||3||1||4||89|
Carolina leading scorer Jeff Skinner is still on the shelf because of concussion issues. Eric Staal and Chad LaRose are next highest on the scoring list for the last place team in the East.
|2011 - Eric Staal||34||7||13||20||-18||18||3||0||1||120|
|2011 - Chad LaRose||34||9||10||19||-15||24||2||1||2||94|
Look for Cam Ward to face Jason LaBarbera in net. Phoenix goalie Mike Smith was injured in last night's 2-1 win in Florida.
|2011 - Cam Ward||29||1643||10||13||90||3.29||887||797||.899||1|
|2011 - Jason LaBarbera||8||399||2||3||16||2.41||195||179||.918||0|
There was a report on Twitter that former Checkers goalie, Justin Pogge, will be the backup.
While the Coyotes won last night against the Panthers, the Hurricanes are coming off a disappointing OT loss against those same Cats on Sunday.
Tim Brent was injured yesterday in practice, so the Hurricanes recalled Riley Nash to take his spot as fourth line center. Nash has two goals and seven assists in 31 games for Charlotte so far this season.
According to CH.com, look for the following lines, at last to start off with for the Canes:
- Bowman, Staal, LaRose
- Ponikarovsky, Jokinen, Ruutu
- Dwyer, Sutter, Tlusty
- Stewart, Nash, Nodl
- Gleason, McBain
- Spacek, Faulk
- Harrison, Allen
McBain, Ruutu, and LaRose each have points in the last two games.
While striking out in the last game in Florida, the Hurricanes powerplay has improved of late. They are 5-21 in their last five games, (23.8%). The team is 8-4-3 when scoring a powerplay goal.
These two teams met just one time last year and the Canes came out on top 4-3, in OT. Carolina will be donning black again tonight.
The game is not scheduled to be televised by either team, although it is scheduled for Center Ice. You can listen on 99.9 The Fan and check out our open thread here on the blog which will starting up at 6:30.
Our SBN partner, Five For Howling will have more info on the Coyotes.