The Carolina Hurricanes, (13-24-7) are currently visiting the "center of the hockey universe" as they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs, (15-22-9) tonight at the ACC. The teams have met twice so far this year, splitting the decisions at the RBC.
The Canes are playing well right now and have won two games in a row, two road games in a row, and three games out of the past four overall. They have accomplished this with a lineup consisting of several prospects and call-ups from Albany, Carolina's minor league affiliate.
While Erik Cole, Sergei Samsonov, and Chad LaRose each traveled with the team, they are not expected to play tonight, meaning that the lineup will be the same as it was against Ottawa on Sunday. The lines should start out as follows:
- Staal, Whitney, Cullen
- Jokinen, Sutter, Kostopoulos
- Brind'Amour, Tlusty, Dwyer
- Yelle, Samson, Boychuk
The defense will be Gleason, Pitkanen, Wallin, Ward, Carson, and Alberts.
Cam Ward will be facing "The Monster", Jonas Gustavsson in goal.
|2009 - Cam Ward||29||1609||8||15||78||2.91||822||744||.905||0|
|2009 - Jonas Gustavsson||25||1330||8||9||66||2.98||682||616||.903||1|
Ward has been hot of late and his numbers are creeping up. In the last seven games, he has a GAA of 2.11 and save percentage of .934. This will be his 13th consecutive start for the Canes.
Matt Cullen has assists in four straight games, ( 0G 5A), Rod Brind`Amour has points in three straight, (2G 1A), and Ray Whitney has points in two straight, (2G 2A).
Joni Pitkanen is still number one in the league with average ice time per pame of just under 27 minutes. Dan Boyle, Jay Bouwmeester, Duncan Keith, and Chris Pronger are all in hot pursuit.
Team leader, Andrew Alberts is 11th in the league with 133 hits.
The game is not televised locally, but check for it on Center Ice or listen to 99.9 The Fan. We will have the open game thread cranked up here at 6:30 and the puck drops at 7.