The Carolina Hurricanes (32-32-10) will take on their second team fighting for a playoff spot in the East for the second time in three days when they take on the Ottawa Senators (31-29-14) tonight at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports: Carolinas and broadcasted on the radio at 99.9 FM The Fan.
The Hurricanes have won the previous two meetings including a 6-3 win on Jan. 25.Hurricanes’ Lineup Jiri Tlusty – Eric Staal – Andrei Loktionov Nathan Gerbe – Jordan Staal – Alexander Semin Jeff Skinner – Riley Nash – Patrick Dwyer Drayson Bowman – Manny Malhotra – Elias Lindholm Andrej Sekera – Justin Faulk John-Michael Liles – Ron Hainsey Brett Bellemore – Jay Harrison Cam Ward [Anton Khudobin] Possible Scratches: Mike Komisarek, Radek Dvorak and Justin Peters (Healthy). Senators’ Lineup Milan Michalek – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky Clarke MacArthur – Kyle Turris – Mark Stone Colin Greening – Zack Smith – Chris Neil Mike Hoffman – Mika Zibanejad – Erik Condra Marc Methot – Erik Karlsson Eric Gryba – Jared Cowen Cody Ceci – Patrick Wierioch Craig Anderson/Robin Lehner Possible Scratches: Bobby Ryan and Chris Phillips (Injured).
In Saturday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team played a decent game, but mistakes led to the defeat. It’s hard to play mistake-free hockey, but the three that led to goals were pretty bad ones that shouldn’t have happened.
The defense needs to step up on taking shots. Jay Harrison is the only one that unloads from the point and deflected goals are a big part of a lot of team’s games. We’re not seeing that from the Hurricanes.
Cam Ward should be the starter tonight, as inferred from practice. The 30-year-old has had some success against the Senators and it allows Anton Khudobin to play tomorrow against the tougher Pittsburgh Penguins.
While the Senators are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, the team has pretty much fallen out of the main race over the past two weeks with a 3-4-3 record in their last 10.
However, they did get a big win yesterday, defeating the Calgary Flames, 6-3, scoring four unanswered and instilling some hope for a playoff rebound.
It won’t be easy though, as star Bobby Ryan is injured and will miss the remainder of the season.
The Senators are just like the Blue Jackets in that they know how important this game is and will fight for the win, even if they played yesterday.
A recap will be posted after the game.