The Carolina Hurricanes will host the Ottawa Senators on home ice before packing it up and heading on the road for a six game road trip. The Canes are coming off a 5-3 loss to the Boston Bruins, while the Senators are looking for their third straight win. This is the first of three meetings between the Canes and Senators this season. They are coming off a last season record of 1-2-1 on the series against Ottawa.
The Canes will be looking to capitalize on the injury plagued Senators. The Senators will be without their leading goal scorer Jason Spezza. Spezza is scheduled for back surgery and will be out for at least two months. The Senators will also be without several other key players, such as Jared Cowen (hip surgery), Mike Lunin (broken finger), Sergei Gonchar (lower body injury). For the Canes, Tuomo Ruutu remains sidelined and Justin Faulk is questionable with an upper body injury. [UPDATE: Faulk will be in the line up tonight.]
The Canes will be looking to improve their home ice record which is currently 1-2-0 while the Senators are 2-1-0 on the road. This will be their fourth home game this season. The Canes have had an unusual 3 day break and used it to their advantage to practice their special teams. Their power play is currently 3 for 26 good enough for last place in the Eastern Conference and 25th in the league. Carolina will need to bring their best game in order to beat the Senators, who currently have 13 different players on the scoresheet already this season, putting them in first place in the NorthEast Division. “We’ve got to get in the groove” says Head Coach Kirk Muller. ” We’re excited to start tonight. Hopefully finish on a good note at home and then take it onto the road and have a big road trip”.
Dan Ellis will get the start in the net tonight for Carolina playing in his first home game of the season. This will be his second start in three games. Ellis has a .963 save percentage and a 1-0 record on the season. He will be up against netminder Craig Anderson (Ottawa) who has a .99 save percentage and a 5-1-1 record.
Face off is set for 7PM at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.