After a five day hiatus, the Carolina Hurricanes, (11-12-3) finally have a hockey game to prepare for as they tangle with the Dallas Stars, (16-9-2) tonight at American Airlines Center.
A bit has happened since the Hurricanes last played. For one thing, they now find themselves in last place in their division. While the Canes have played fewer games than any other team in the division, the club realizes the importance of starting to win more games. They are 3-4-3 in their last 10 contests and they are coming off a lackluster, 5-2 loss in Nashville.
Speaking of a lackluster loss, the last time these two teams got together, (about two weeks ago in Raleigh), the Stars won easily, 4-1. The Canes should be looking for some retribution tonight.
The Hurricanes have been tinkering with the lines and for the moment, have decided to keep Tuomo Ruutu at wing. The most recent lines at yesterday's practice were:
- Staal, Ruutu, Samsonov
- Dwyer, Jokinen, LaRose
- Sutter, Cole, Skinner
- Carter, Tlusty, Bodie
- Gleason, Corvo
- Pitkanen, White
- Harrison, McBain
Cam Ward will be in net.
Dallas netminder, Kari Lehtonen, was questionable for the game at the time of this article. Andrew Raycroft is the backup and will probably get the start. (Now confirmed, Raycroft gets the start.) Richard Bachman was recalled earlier this week as a stand by, in case Lehtonen can not suit up.
|2010 - Cam Ward||22||1276||11||9||57||2.68||719||662||.921||1|
|2010 - Andrew Raycroft||6||314||3||2||11||2.10||168||157||.935||1|
The Stars are led by Brad Richards, (12G 21A 33P), Loui Eriksson, (11-16-27), and James Neal, (11-15-26), but Steve Ott, Adam Burish, and Jamie Benn did major damage against Carolina last game.
For more information about the Stars, check out Defending Big D.
Eric Staal, (12G 16A 28P), still leads the way for the Hurricanes, followed by Jeff Skinner, (8-12-20), and Jussi Jokinen, (5-15-20).
Cam Ward has now started five consecutive games. There are no current scoring streaks for any Hurricane.
The Canes have not won in Dallas since the franchise moved to Carolina and the Stars have not lost in regulation on their home ice in nine games. It won't be easy for the visitors tonight.
The game starts at 8:30 Eastern and it will be broadcast locally in HD by FS Carolinas.