With all the hoopla about the All Star game announcement today, don't forget that there is still a hockey game tonight. The Carolina Hurricanes play their final home game of the season as they take on the Montreal Canadiens tonight at the RBC Center. The Canes will complete their season with a game in Boston on Saturday afternoon.
The Hurricanes are flying high after Tuesday night's 8-5 pasting of Tampa Bay, but they have not done well recently at home and have lost five of their last seven at the RBC.
Coach Paul Maurice verified that Joni Pitkanen is injured and will not play tonight. Tim Conboy will take his place in the lineup. Cam Ward will get the nod in net.
I spoke briefly with Manny Legace and while he is not 100%, he said that he was "good enough to sit and watch", as he laughed with his response.
The rest of the lineup should be the same for Carolina.
While the Hurricanes are just about done for the season, Montreal will be looking to wrap up a playoff spot with a win. But most of the players for Carolina are already battling for spots on the team next season, so they have plenty on the line as well and should not be rolling over by any means.
The forward lines and defensive pairings will probably be mixed.
The game has a late start time of 7:30 but there will be another front lawn party with a band prior to the start. The first 14,000 fans to enter will receive a free hat. For more fan appreciation info, check out this page.
The contest will be televised locally by FS Carolinas. It's going to be a long summer so get to the rink!