Lines and Rosters
The Hurricanes take action tonight against the Ottawa Senators at PNC Arena, and now, sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference table, it’s past time for the Hurricanes to get a win and maybe find a streak in the near future.
Ottawa is second in the tightly-contested Atlantic Division table, and features defenseman Erik Karlsson, who ranks third in the NHL for assists (42). The Senators have beaten the Hurricanes twice this season, both 2-1 November wins in Ottawa.
Bill Peters has been switching up his lines, trying to find some spark to create more offense. The way Carolina lined up at morning skate, it seems he’s going to make a couple more switches:
Sebastian Aho - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Brock McGinn - Jordan Staal - Phil Di Giuseppe
Jeff Skinner - Teuvo Teravainen - Lee Stempniak
Joakim Nordstrom - Jay McClement - Viktor Stalberg
Jaccob Slavin - Justin Faulk
Noah Hanifin - Brett Pesce
Klas Dahlbeck - Ryan Murphy
Lack will be the starting goalie tonight, according to the Canes’ Michael Smith . He has started in only one game since November, a loss to the Washington Capitals in which he allowed five goals on 28 shots. Lack’s save percentage is the worst of his NHL career (.856), but he’s only played five games, so maybe this start will help him get back to form statistically.
(Healthy scratches: Derek Ryan, Matt Tennyson)
The Senators’ last game was Tuesday versus the New Jersey Devils, and the lines don’t seem to have changed much from then:
(per Ottawa Senators official account)
Ryan Dzingel - Kyle Turris - Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Zack Smith - Derick Brassard - Tom Pyatt
Tommy Wingels - Chris Kelly - Curtis Lazar
Max McCormick - Casey Bailey - Chris Neil
Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf - Cody Ceci
Mark Borowecki - Chris Widman
Craig Anderson seems to be a clear pick for starting goalie tonight, since he enjoyed a two-day rest after a shutout of the Devils on Tuesday.
(Scratches/injuries: Mike Hoffman (lower body), Mark Stone (neck, ”doubtful”), Bobby Ryan (hand))
Bryan Bickell Clears Waivers, To Be Assigned to Checkers
Bickell has cleared waivers and will take the ice with the Charlotte Checkers, presumably this weekend.
The veteran forward hasn’t played a game since October 30th, just days before he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Despite missing 48 games, he has been practicing in the past month with the Hurricanes to get ready for this moment.
Since the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Bickell has been struggling with his health, from feelings of vertigo to vestibular issues. In November, some shoulder and leg pain that held him back from playing led to the doctor’s visit where he learned of his multiple sclerosis.
“Going through a hard moment like this tough, but, you know, the work we put in to...get back was special,” Bickell told NHL.com earlier this week.
Bickell will be joining the Checkers action at a busy time of the season, with a weekend back-to-back at home, tonight and Saturday, against the Cleveland monster, with the possibility to playing the four remaining games in the homestand over the next week or so.
In the seven games he played earlier this season, Bickell recorded just 1 goal, against the New York Rangers, and 6 shots on goal. Before joining Carolina in 2016, Bickell spent nine seasons with the Blackhawks, including four seasons with 20 or more points and two Stanley Cups.
(Interesting note for tonight’s game vs. Ottawa: Bryan Bickell worked as a clubhouse assistant for the Ottawa Senators before starting his career as a professional hockey player.)
Below is the release from the team.
CANES ASSIGN BRYAN BICKELL TO CHARLOTTE
Winger to see first game action since multiple sclerosis diagnosis
Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has assigned left wing Bryan Bickell to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL). Bickell is expected to play for the Checkers Saturday at Bojangles Arena in Charlotte, marking his first game action since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) last fall.
Bickell, 30, scored one goal in seven games with the Hurricanes this season prior to being placed on the injured reserve list after his diagnosis. The Bowmanville, Ont., native was acquired by Carolina on June 15, 2016, from Chicago, where he was a member the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Bickell (6’4”, 223 lbs.) was drafted by Chicago in the second round, 41st overall, in the 2004 NHL Draft, and has scored 66 goals and earned 70 assists in 391 NHL career regular-season games with the Blackhawks and Hurricanes.