The Carolina Hurricanes, (14-27-7) bring a three game losing streak with them to Atlanta as they face the Thrashers, (22-20-7) tonight at Philips Arena. This game will be a rematch of the 5-3 loss to the "dirty birds" on Saturday night.
Tonight's game will also mark the first for the franchise under new team captain, Eric Staal. The All Star is returning to his original position at center and is reportedly healthy enough to take faceoffs and play defense deep in his own end, the way the position requires.
The coaching staff has put together new lines accordingly:
- Staal, Jokinen, Whitney
- Cullen, Samsonov, Kostopoulos
- Sutter, Tlusty, LaRose
- Yelle, Brind'Amour, Dwyer
Keep an eye on that Sutter line because those three players were skating like demons on Monday night.
The defense will be the same as in recent games: Pitkanen, Gleason, Alberts, Ward, Wallin, and Carson.
Cam Ward will start his 17th consecutive contest tonight. Will Manny Legace ever see action again? He might just get an opportunity in the back-to-back series coming up this weekend, but time will tell.
Ondrej Pavelec will start for the Thrashers.
|2009 - Cam Ward||33||1848||9||18||90||2.92||965||875||.907||0|
|2009 - Ondrej Pavelec||31||1651||12||12||95||3.45||995||900||.905||2|
The Hurricanes will need to contain the home team's high powered offense and they have been largely unsuccessful doing it so far. They have lost both contests to the Thrash this season, 6-4, and 5-3. Although, Carolina is 18-6-3-1 lifetime in Atlanta.
This should be a good opponent for Staal to find his groove. He has scored 43 points in 38 games lifetime against the Thrashers. Earlier today, the Canes sent a "Twitpic" of the captain's new jersey.
The game will be televised locally by FS Carolinas starting at 7. We will have the open game thread ready to go at 6:30.