Tonight the Ducks are in town to face our Hurricanes in the last game of an eight game road trip for the boys from Anaheim coming off a 3-2 loss against Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The last meeting of these teams on February 8th ended with controversy as Corey Perry scored the 3-2 overtime winner after getting away with a trip on Jussi Jokinen. Caniacs can breathe a little easier knowing NHL official Tim Peel will not be calling the game tonight.
Taking the poor officiating out of the equation, the last matchup showcased two fairly evenly matched teams and was hotly contested until the last play. I see no reason why that won’t be the case tonight. The Ducks will once again be showcasing leading goal scorer Perry who comes in with 29 goals and 19 helpers. He is second in points only to Teemu Selanne, the “Finnish Flash”, who leads the team with 20 goals and 33 assists. Ryan Getzlaf only has 8 goals to his credit but has a hefty 33 assists as well. Expect to hear from this trio as well as Bobby Ryan, and Saku Koivu. It looks like Jonas Hiller will be in net for the Ducks as Dan Ellis is on injured reserve with a groin injury unless they decide to go with 27-year-old 6’4” Jeff Deslauriers.
The Canes are still two Finns short missing Joni Pitkanen and recently extended forward Tuomo Ruutu who is out with an upper body injury. Chad LaRose will also be taking a night of rest with an upper body concern. Justin Peters, on the heels of his first NHL shutout, will be minding the store for Cam Ward who is still recovering from his mystery tweak. Mike Murphy was recalled after being sent back down to the Checkers after Monday’s 5-0 win and will be waiting in the wings. He was recalled so fast I would not be surprised if he had not even had a chance to unload his car. While not a Philadelphia-style goalie-go-round, the Canes had four netminders at practice this morning. This is actually positive news as Brian Boucher practiced with the team and Cam Ward skated after practice. Caniacs should only panic when we get down to broadcaster Tripp Tracy in a Professional Try Out. The Checkers will appreciate the return of a keeper soon enough as their radio broadcaster Jason Shaya has been filling in at practice.
The home team is hoping to add some more points to the score sheet for Eric Staal who is on a six game streak with 6 goals and 5 assists. Our other streaker is Jiri Tlusty with 4 goals and 5 assists in 8 games. This is the only time streaking won’t get anyone in trouble.
No line changes are expected for the Canes from the tilt with Washington. You can find the Ducks depth chart on their official website. The Ducks are in 13th place in the West behind the Wild and the Canes are in 15th in the East trailing, well everybody. Neither team has given up and I expect them to fight for every point tonight.
Tune in to Fox Sports South to watch the game or 99.9 FM to hear Hall of Fame broadcaster Chuck Kaiton call his 2,900th game for Carolina. Ducks Daily Blog is your source for Anaheim news on the Fansided network. Puck drops at 7pm! And as always Let’s Go Canes!
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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Checkers Chuck Kaiton Corey Perry Eric Staal Jason Shaya Jiri Tlusty Jussi Jokinen Justin Peters Mike Murphy NHL Officiating Ryan Getzlaf Saku Koivu Teeme Selanne Tim Peel Tripp Tracy Tuomo Ruutu