The Carolina Hurricanes, (22-16-6) are on the road again, this time to take on the Boston Bruins, (24-13-7) for a game with a special 1 p.m. start time for Martin Luther King Day at TD Garden in Beantown. The contest is the first of a back-to-back and home-and-home matchup. The two teams meet again in Raleigh on Tuesday night.
The Canes are presently one of the hottest teams in the league. In their last 10 games they are 7-1-2, and their record is 11-4-3 in their last 18.
Several players have scoring streaks, led by Eric Staal who has points in eight consecutive games. His career best is 11 games. Tuomo Ruutu and Jeff Skinner have earned points in five straight. Ruutu has 16 points, (5G 11A) in his last 11 games.
The Bruins have also been a fairly hot team as they have earned points in 10 of their last 12 games. In their last 10, they have a 5-2-3 record, but they are coming off a tough, 3-2 loss to the Penguins on Saturday night.
According to the Bruins homepage, Tim Thomas should be back between the pipes today. Cam Ward will get the start for Carolina and might get every start from now until the All Star break, according to coach Paul Maurice.
|2010 - Cam Ward||37||2138||19||12||95||2.67||1209||1114||.921||2|
|2010 - Tim Thomas||31||1852||20||4||58||1.88||1010||952||.943||6|
Patrice Bergeron is leading the Baby Bears in scoring, followed by David Krejci and Milan Lucic. (Lucic is a bit banged up and he has missed a couple of games.)
The Bruins have faced their fair share of injuries, although defenseman Mark Stuart was recently activated from the IR and could play. Marc Savard is still trying to get back into form and Nathan Horton has been playing through some issues.
|2010 - Patrice Bergeron||44||14||20||34||16||16||3||2||3||109|
|2010 - David Krejci||37||7||21||28||10||13||0||0||1||76|
|2010 - Milan Lucic||41||16||12||28||11||58||2||0||3||92|
Eric Staal continues to lead the Hurricanes with rookie Jeff Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu not too far behind.
|2010 - Eric Staal||44||22||24||46||-6||34||7||2||5||165|
|2010 - Jeff Skinner||44||16||20||36||2||14||3||0||1||112|
|2010 - Tuomo Ruutu||44||12||24||36||-2||28||6||0||1||79|
Jussi Jokinen is also hot and has four goals and three assists in the three games he has played in since returning from injury.
This is the 11th of 21 scheduled sets of back-to-backs this season for the Canes. So far the team is 6-1-3 in the first games and 5-4-1 in the second.
The last time the teams met was back on November 26 when Ward earned his first
and only shutout of the season.
The game will be televised locally on FS Carolinas and we will have our open game thread up and running at 12:30.