The Carolina Hurricanes, (33-29-10) will try to make up some ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race as they take on the last place team in the conference, the Ottawa Senators, (27-36-9) tonight at the RBC.
The Hurricanes are still in 9th place, three points behind the Buffalo Sabres, who are also in action tonight. The Sabres are playing in Montreal.
While the Sens have the fewest points in the East, (63) they have won two games in a row and five of their last seven. The Hurricanes are struggling to score goals consistently and they have a 2-4-1 record in their last seven games.
Scoring goals is the magic formula to winning for Carolina because the club has a 27-3-4 record when they score a minimum of three goals.
The primary reason for that record, Cam Ward, will make his 65th start of the season tonight.
Bruce Garrioch and Silver Seven are both reporting that Curtis McElhinney will be starting for the visitors. Craig Anderson was expected to start, but apparently he'll take his shiny new contract extension and will sit this one out.
|2010 - Cam Ward||64||3712||30||24||162||2.62||2048||1886||.921||3|
|2010 - Curtis McElhinney||25||1217||9||10||63||3.11||638||575||.901||2|
The Hurricanes will most likely stick with the same lineup that they used in recent games:
- Stillman, Staal, Cole
- Ruutu, Jokinen, Skinner
- LaRose, Sutter, Tlusty
- Samson, Dwyer, Bowman
- Gleason, Corvo
- Pitkanen, Joslin
- Harrison, Allen
(pick and choose for yourself among the defensive pairings) Jamie McBain is back at practice and could see action sooner than the two weeks reported here on Sunday. Troy Bodie will most likely be the healthy extra.
The Canes are 2-1-0 against the Sens so far this year with 7-1, and 4-0 wins home and away, and with a 3-2 loss at Ottawa their very first game back from Europe in October.
Carolina has won the last six meetings between the teams at the RBC and has outscored Ottawa 24-6 in the process.
Silver Seven has the Ottawa lines as follows:
(Injured: Carkner, Gonchar
For more info about Ottawa, check out our SBN partners at Silver Seven.
Hockeymom's Game Day Guide is a great resource to print and take with you to the rink.
We won't bother to mention that this game is vitally important and that the Canes need to start winning if they want to make a serious bid for the postseason. No need to put undue pressure on the club.
The game will be televised locally by FS Carolinas starting at 7 p.m. and our open game thread will be ready to go at 6:30.
(UPDATE - Forgot to mention that tonight is Cam Ward-o bobblehead night. Get to the RBC early or you'll have to pay primo prices for your bobbelheads on Ebay)