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Game Day: Canes at Blue Jackets

Cam Ward says No-vember. After starting the month with a .965 save percentage and first star honors in both weekend games, Wardo earns his fourth straight start in net.

Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes at Columbus Blue Jackets
November 2, 2014 - 7:00 pm ET
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas
Radio - 99.9 FM The Fan
SB Nation Rival Blog - The Cannon

Fancy Stats

Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Record 2-6-2 4-7-0
Points 6 8
Division Rank 8th Metro 7th Metro
Conference Rank 16th EC 14th EC
Streak Won 2 Lost 5

Power Play % 21.9% 19.6%
Penalty Kill % 80.0% 75.0%
Goals/Game 2.10 2.54
Goals Against/Game 3.30 3.36
Shots/Game 26.8 30.5
Shots Against/Game 27.8 30.6
ES Goals For % 36.8% 39.5%
ES Corsi For % 50.5% 49.0%
PIM/Game 10.0 12.5

Goaltender Ward McElhinney
Record 2-3-1 0-2-0
ES Save Percentage .888 .881
GAA 2.98 4.49

Goaltender Khudobin Forsberg
Record 0-3-1 0-1-0
ES Save Percentage .891 .952
GAA 3.24 3.05

Game Notes

  • The Canes are on a winning streak, y'all. It felt good to type "Won 2" in the Fancy Stats table. But before anyone gets too giddy, a quick look at the McEichel standings shows the Canes holding in second place (though still dead last in the league). However, a win tonight against divisional rival Columbus Blue Jackets (and a repeat when the two teams meet in Raleigh on Friday) and all of a sudden the Canes are climbing up the ranks.
  • Jordan Staal's broken leg nonwithstanding, the Canes are healthy and able to begin building chemistry and consistency. As such, Monday's practice didn't offer a lot of changes to the weekend's line-up with the exception of the return of Alexander Semin to the top line. As has been repeated across the hockey universe, Alex Semin 1) makes $7 million a year and 2) was scratched for both wins this weekend. Coach Bill Peters felt he was not moving his skates at an NHL pace and not working hard enough, so Sasha took a seat in the press box to think upon it. He was back yesterday, skating with Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty, and all indications are that Peters will go with that line tonight.
  • The downstream effect of Semin's return bumps Jeff Skinner, and given the chemistry shown on Sunday between the Gerbe/Nash/Lindholm and Terry/Rask/Boychuk lines, Skinner has found himself with Jay McClement and Patrick Dwyer (and with Brad Malone likely the odd man out). For now.
  • One decision that was easy for Peters to make was to ride the hot goalie. Coming off two first-star performances over the weekend, Cam Ward will get his fourth consecutive start. If math serves me correctly, in the two games Wardo has an even strength save percentage of .979 and an overall save percentage of .965.
  • Jiri Tlusty is currently ranked 10th in the NHL in goal scoring with six goals. Jeff Skinner is two goals away from 100 NHL goals. Alex Semin is four points away from 500 NHL points. Elias Lindholm is on a two-game goal scoring streak. Victor Rask is on a one-game goal scoring streak :)
  • Bill Peters comments from yesterday's practice: (audio)
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets are walking wounded and losers of their last five, which is always cause for concern for the slump-busting Canes. Take a look at their injury list below, six players on injured reserve (not including Nathan Horton) and it doesn't appear as though any of those players will be back for Friday when the teams meet for a rematch in Raleigh.
  • That said, their line-up is getting a huge boost tonight with the return of forward Boone Jenner, who will make his season debut tonight after suffering a broken hand during training camp. Winger Matt Calvert is also expected to return after missing a week with an upper body injury.
  • Despite their adversity, the Jackets are a team that always plays the Canes hard and holds a competitive edge with eight wins in the last 10 meetings. On the bright side, those two wins for the Canes came last season, once in Raleigh (for the first time since 2005) and once in Columbus (first since 2004).
  • Scott Hartnell did not practice yesterday (and therefore isn't on the depth chart below) but will be in the line-up tonight. The Jackets called up Frederic St. Denis yesterday for defenseman depth after Cody Goloubef was placed on injured reserve. If Matt Calvert also returns, Columbus may need to make another roster move today.
  • Ryan Johanssen leads the team with 13 points (5g, 8a), Nick Foligno is close behind with 11 points (4g, 7a).
  • Curtis McElhinney gets the start in net tonight.

Projected line-ups

Hurricanes (from yesterday's practice)

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin
Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm
Jeff Skinner - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer
Chris Terry - Victor Rask - Zach Boychuk

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk
Tim Gleason - Jay Harrison
Ron Hainsey - Brett Bellemore
John-Michael Liles

Cam Ward
Anton Khudobin

Injuries and Scratches: Jordan Staal (IR broken fibula), John-Michael Liles (healthy), Brad Malone (healthy)

Blue Jackets (from yesterday's practice)

Cam Atkinson - Ryan Johansen - Marko Dano
Brian Gibbons - Nick Foligno - Jack Skille
Matt Calvert - Alexander Wennberg - Boone Jenner
Sean Collins - Michael Chaput - Jared Boll

Fedor Tyutin - Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray - David Savard
Tim Erixon - Dalton Prout

Curtis McElhinney
Anton Forsberg

Injuries: Nathan Horton (back), Brandon Dubinsky (IR, abdominal surgery), Sergei Bobrovsky (IR, broken finger), James Wisniewski (IR, broken finger), Artem Anisimov (IR, concussion), Mark Letestu (IR, groin), Cody Goloubef (IR, right knee)

Both the Canes and Blue Jackets are scheduled to skate this morning, so stay tuned for updates, and see you tonight in the game thread.