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Military Appreciation Day: Senators at Hurricanes, Game Day Preview

The Carolina Hurricanes, (12-24-7) will recognize the military for this evening's game against the Ottawa Senators, (22-18-4), as the teams meet each other for the second time this season.  The game has an early start time of 5 p.m. For more information about the military related activities before and during the game, check out this link to

The Sens are riding a three game losing streak, and like the Canes, are having some injury problems.  Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Daniel Alfredsson, Jesse Winchester, and Keith Ballard are all out.  But Alex Kovalev will play, the same Russian sniper who netted a hat trick against the Hurricanes as his team defeated the Canes 4-2, in Ottawa in early December.

Carolina has won two of their last three but is still looking for two consecutive wins, something that has eluded them since December 5- 7 when they beat Pittsburgh and Vancouver.

Tuomo Ruutu has joined the walking wounded for the home team, joining Sergei Samsonov, Joe Corvo, Erik Cole, Chad LaRose, and Scott Walker in the press box.   (did I forget anyone?). Eric Staal is expected to be back in the lineup today after taking a leave of absence to attend his sister-in-law's funeral.  One has to wonder about the player's state of mind, taking into consideration that the services were just yesterday.  

Ruutu will probably be out a "couple" of weeks, according to coach Paul Maurice.

The goaltender for Carolina be Cam Ward.  This will be Ward's 12th consecutive start, his longest streak of the season.  The goalie has played very well in recent games.  In his last six starts, he has a GAA of 2.29 and save percentage of .928.

There is no local television for this game.  You can tune into Chuck on 99.9 The Fan and follow along here with the open thread which will start up at 4:30 today.  I will be reporting live from the game.