The Colorado Avalanche, (13-9-2) are in town to take on the Carolina Hurricanes, (10-11-3) for a cross conference showdown at the RBC tonight. The Canes are coming off an unusual three day break between games and should be rested and ready for action. They will be trying extra hard to jump out to a lead tonight, which has been ultra important to this group. Coming from behind has not exactly been their forte so far this season.
The team is 8-0-2 when they score first, 6-0-2 when leading after the first period, and 8-0-0 when leading after two. On the other side of the spectrum, they are 2-11-1 when the opposition scores first, 1-9-1 when trailing after one period, and 0-10-1 when trailing after two.
With three full days between games, the Canes finally had a chance this week to run some practices and get some rest for players who might need it.
"We really needed this time off, and we need next week off as well." said coach Paul Maurice after I asked him this morning about finally having a bit of a break in the schedule. "We took Tuesday off, but had very active practices the next two days."
The Canes will be sticking to the same lines as before the Cole/LaRose exchange during the previous contest on Monday. Cam Ward will be in net.
- Staal, LaRose, Samsonov
- Ruutu, Skinner, Cole
- Sutter, Dwyer, Jokinen
- Carter, Bodie, Tlusty
- Gleason, Corvo
- Pitkanen, White
- Harrison, McBain
Here is HM's game day lineup for those of you who like to bring the roster info to the rink.
Ward will be facing Craig Anderson, who will get the start for the visitors.
|2010 - Cam Ward||20||1155||10||8||52||2.70||646||594||.920||1|
|2010 - Craig Anderson||9||499||4||4||24||2.89||270||246||.911||0|
Adrian Dater is reporting that newly acquired and former Washington Capital Tomas Fleischmann will be playing alongside Matt Duchene and David Jones. The Avs top line is Paul Stastny, Milan Hejduk, and Daniel Winnik.
Veteran Adam Foote has recovered from an injury and is expected see time on the blueline, along with newcomer and former Bruin, Matt Hunwick, who is also expected to see action.
For more info about the Avs, check out Mile High Hockey.
The Hurricanes penalty killers are finally starting to be effective. While the PK is currently ranked 28th in the league at 77.6%, in the last five games they have killed off 14 of 15 for a percentage of 93.3.
Jeff Skinner continues to lead all NHL rookies in scoring, (7G, 12A, 19P).
Tonight, Erik Cole will be playing in his 500th game for the Hurricanes. He will become the 11th player in franchise history to accomplish that feat, and the sixth since the move to Raleigh.
Eric Staal was the second leading scorer in the NHL during the month of November, (behind Sidney Crosby). Will he keep up the pace in December?
Will the team jump out to that important lead, or show more resilience in a comeback attempt? This is just one of four home games this month, so get your hockey fix tonight. FS Carolinas will have the action in HD starting at 7. We will have the red carpet out at the open game thread starting at 6:30.