Carolina Hurricanes Cory Stillman at the morning skate preparing for the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. February 25, 2011, Raleigh, NC. (photo by LTD)
Everyone was smiling at the RBC Center this morning as the Carolina Hurricanes, (28-24-9) prepared for their matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, (36-20-6) tonight in Raleigh, NC. Stillman was skating with his old linemates from 2006, Erik Cole and Eric Staal. Is there any magic left in this threesome?
Both Cole and Staal had career years back then, with Stillman providing the assists. Jim Rutherford probably had that in mind when he brought the winger back into the fold. But this is 2011, can Stillman still get the job done?
Staal thinks so.
"He's a big game player with playoff experience and big game experience, " the Captain said after the morning skate. "He has great vision and especially should help on the powerplay. I'm excited to have him back."
Other players who were asked said much of the same.
"It's nice to have someone with experience come in, and someone who is older than me," quipped Erik Cole.
Paul Maurice didn't waste anytime putting the old line back together. He ended up shuffling the others a bit, to make room. Jerome Samson looked to be the odd man out, at least for this game.
- Stillman, Staal, Cole
- Skinner, Ruutu, LaRose
- Jokinen, Sutter, Tlusty
- Bodie, Dwyer, Samsonov
Brett Carson will be the scratch tonight on defense. Another newcomer, Derek Joslin, will get a chance to show his stuff. Maurice felt that Joslin would bring a bit more physicality to the blueline for Carolina.
- McBain, Pitkanen
- Harrison, Joslin
Cam Ward will make his 21st consecutive start and should face arch nemisis, Marc-Andre Fleury.
|2010 - Cam Ward||54||3113||25||20||142||2.74||1738||1596||.918||2|
|2010 - Marc-Andre Fleury||50||2832||27||15||107||2.27||1363||1256||.921||2|
The Pens are decimated by injuries, but are still dangerous and capable of winning hockey games. James Neal, another recent victim of the trade deadline, will probably be matched up with Jordan Staal and Pascal Dupuis. Newly acquired Alex Kovalev should also be in the mix tonight.
The lines before their previous game against the Sharks were as follows:
Pensburgh will have more information.
For more lineup and stat info, feel free to print out Hockeymom's game day preview and bring it with you to the rink.
The Canes have yet to beat the Pens this season, although they have a 13-7-3 record against them in their last 23 meetings. The game will be televised locally on FS Carolinas starting at 7 p.m. Our always entertaining open game thread will be active starting at 6:30.