Jiri Tlusty scores during the second period against the LA Kings. (Courtesy: James Guillory-US PRESSWIRE)

Game Preview: Canes @ Ducks

Make sure you load up on your caffeine today, Caniacs! It’s going to be a late one. In one of the later games in the schedule all year, the Canes will take on the Anaheim (no longer mighty … yes, I’m still using that) Ducks with a puck drop at 10pm tonight. The Ducks have been stuck near the bottom of the Western conference standings all year, but have been playing better as of late, posting a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 games. Currently, they sit 10 points out of the final playoff spot, held by the Minnesota Wild (in a tie-breaker with the Phoenix Coyotes). Carolina on the other hand, still sits in the basement of the Eastern conference standings, despite going 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, including winning their last two games against the Los Angeles Kings and the Boston Bruins. Jiri Tlusty has been leading the Canes in goals (4) in that span, while Eric Staal has been leading in points (8). This is the first leg of a three-game road trip for the Canes, which will bring them to Colorado on Friday night and in Montreal next Monday night before Valentine’s day.

It has been quite an interesting few days for the Hurricanes as winger Anthony Stewart was placed on waivers Monday, presumably to open up a forward spot. Stewart cleared waivers yesterday and is expected to stay with the team and play tonight against the Ducks. Riley Nash was sent down to Charlotte after the team’s win against the Kings, which means that Chad LaRose, who was suffering from an illness, will be back in the line-up tonight. There has been no official word about who the starting goaltender will be, but it is assumed that given the team’s few days off that Cam Ward will be in net once again for the Canes — his first start in Anaheim.

The Ducks are wrapping up a four-game home stand tonight, where they have gone 1-1-1 in the previous three games. Teemu Selane is leading the team in points with 50 (18G, 32A) in 52 games. There is a possibility that Selane can pass Brett Hull for 21st on the all-time scoring list if he registers 2 points against the Canes tonight. Last year’s Hart Trophy winner, Cory Perry, is second on the team in scoring with 40 points in 52 games played.  The Ducks have earned points in 12 out of their last 14 games, outscoring their opponents 31-19. To read up more on the Ducks, head on over to Ducks Daily Blog.

Be sure to check back in for the recap as well as the preview for the Canes @ Avs!

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Tags: Anthony Stewart Cam Ward Chad LaRose Eric Staal Jiri Tlusty

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