After four days without any games, the refreshed Carolina Hurricanes, (31-26-9) are ready resume the fight to make the playoffs as they do battle with the Atlanta Thrashers, (27-28-11) tonight at the RBC.
The Hurricanes are currently in ninth place, behind Buffalo now by just one point, while the Thrashers are sitting in 11th place, six points behind the Canes.
Carolina has won all four meetings against this team so far this season, but three of the four have gone to overtime and the regulation win was by just one goal.
The Canes have changed the lines around a bit since their last game in Chicago. Jussi Jokinen will be playing at center now and has joined the Skinner/Ruutu line. Chad LaRose has joined Brandon Sutter and Jiri Tlusty on the "checking" line.
Also, it appears that Paul Maurice switched up the defensive pairings as well. In the last two practices, Bryan Allen has been paired up with Joe Corvo.
The lines should start out like this:
- Stillman, Staal, Cole
- Skinner, Jokinen, Ruutu
- LaRose, Sutter, Tlusty
- Bodie, Dwyer, Samson
- Corvo, Allen
- Gleason, Harrison
- Pitkanen, McBain
Cam Ward will be back in net for the home team and will probably be facing Ondrej Pavelec for Atlanta.
|2010 - Cam Ward||58||3352||28||21||150||2.68||1870||1720||.920||2|
|2010 - Ondrej Pavelec||47||2640||18||18||117||2.66||1442||1325||.919||3|
Eric Staal still leads the way in scoring for Carolina, followed by Jeff Skinner. Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu are close behind the rookie.
|2010 - Eric Staal||65||29||33||62||-12||60||10||2||7||237|
|2010 - Jeff Skinner||66||23||26||49||-2||36||6||0||2||161|
|2010 - Tuomo Ruutu||66||15||30||45||-4||46||6||0||1||107|
|2010 - Jussi Jokinen||54||16||29||45||2||20||7||0||1||107|
According to the AJC, All Star Dustin Byfuglien did not make the trip to Carolina and will miss this matchup. Newly recalled Paul Postma will make his NHL debut tonight as he takes the big defenseman's place.
Team captain Andrew Ladd leads Atlanta in scoring with defensemen "Big Buff" and Tobias Enstrom close behind.
|2010 - Andrew Ladd||65||25||25||50||-6||35||8||2||2||160|
|2010 - Dustin Byfuglien||66||19||30||49||-4||57||7||0||6||289|
|2010 - Tobias Enstrom||60||8||40||48||-4||40||5||0||0||93|
The Thrashers have been in quite a tailspin of late and have only won five of their last 23 games. For more information about them, check out the AJC Blog.
Erik Cole has three game winning goals against this team so far this season. Will he get another tonight?
Eric Staal currently has the team's longest scoring streak which is at three games. Jeff Skinner has a two game streak going.
If you would like to take some roster info to the rink with you, Hockeymom's Game Guide is a good resource. Print it out from the link below:
FS Carolinas will have the local broadcast of the game starting at 7. We will have the open game thread/live blog cranked up at 6:30.
Reminder: Bring a donation for the USO to the rink tonight in exchange for BOGO coupons for the game. Or just bring a donation anyway! Check out this link for more details:
Also, the Hurricanes have announced that Saturday's game against Columbus will be Military Appreciation Night. The following link will lead to more info about that: