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Thrashers at Canes - Pregame Hype

It's another "must win" game for the Hurricanes tonight as the Atlanta Thrashers come to the RBC to tangle with Carolina. If we take a look at the division standings, the Canes are in the precarious position of being behind Florida by one point, and the Panthers still have two games in hand.

Southeast Standings

Washington 49 30 15 4 64
Florida 48 23 17 8 54
Carolina 50 24 21 5 53
Tampa Bay 50 17 23 10 44
Atlanta 50 17 28 5 39

(updated 1.31.2009 at 9:13 AM EST)

Carolina and Atlanta have split the season series so far as the Hurricanes won the last two match-ups after the "Trash" won the first two. Check out this link for the details.

Both teams are streaking, but in opposite directions. The Canes have won three of their last four games while Atlanta has lost three in a row. Cam Ward will be in net again and has started the past 15 consecutive games while sporting an 8-7-0 record during the stretch.

2008 - Cam Ward 38 2219 19 15 3 7 95 2.57 1075 980 .912 2

The young goalie just earned his 100th career NHL win on Thursday night against Tampa Bay.

The team's streak leader is Chad LaRose with points in the past two games.

The Canes are still a bit banged up. Dennis Seidenberg, Scott Walker, and Nic Wallin will remain out. Bryan Rodney and Mike Ryan are still in town from Albany, and they are filling in nicely. Both lead the River Rats in scoring in their respective positions.

Paul Maurice mixed the lines up once again, moving Ruutu to the Staal line. The lines should look like the following, at least to start the game. After that, all bets are off.

  • Staal, Samsonov, Ruutu
  • Cullen, Whitney, Williams
  • Brind'Amour, LaRose, Eaves
  • Sutter, Bayda, Ryan

Wade Brookbank seems to be banned for life and remains in the pressbox.

Once again, just a reminder. The game has a late start of 8PM because of the State and Carolina basketball game. The Canes are recommending that early arrivals enter from the Trinity Road entrance because basketball fans will be exiting all other routes. Look for soft, choppy ice tonight.

I will be creating an "open game thread" on the blog just before game time. If anyone is online during the game, I'll be making comments and answering questions from the pressbox during the intermissions. Feel free to join in.

FS Carolinas and 99.9 The Fan will have all the action.

Attached is a press interview with Paul Maurice after the practice on Friday. (The beginning is cut off but he starts out talking about Chad LaRose)

Paul Maurice 1 30 09