Tag:Carolina Hurricanes
Posted on: April 6, 2011 5:25 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 5:27 pm

Playoff Watch: Carolina faces another test

WHO CAN CLINCH: The idle Buffalo Sabres will seize a playoff berth if the Carolina Hurricanes lose to the Detroit Red Wings tonight (in regulation, overtime or a shootout). The Phoenix Coyotes will clinch a playoff berth with a victory over the Los Angeles Kings in regulation, also by any means. Conversely, the Kings can secure a playoff berth with a victory. 

ALREADY IN:  Vancouver, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Detroit and Washington.     

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Detroit Red Wings (46-23-10) at Carolina Hurricanes (38-30-11), 7 p.m. ET

The ninth-place Hurricanes can’t let many more points slip away. The 'Canes enter with 87 points, four behind the idle, eighth-place New York Rangers. Both the Rangers and the Hurricanes will have two games left in the regular season after tonight. 

This is the one and only meeting this season between these two clubs and the Red Wings have an edge in the series, 32-25-8-0. Detroit has bounced back from a 10-3 beat down by the St. Louis Blues last Wednesday and has netted two wins in a row. 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Phoenix Coyotes (42-25-12) at Los Angeles Kings (45-28-6), 10:30 p.m. ET

One of these two teams can clinch a playoff berth with a victory tonight. The Kings are looking to bounce back from an ugly 6-1 loss to San Jose, the first game since both Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar went down to injury where Los Angeles was out-classed. 

GOLF WATCH:  The Calgary Flames can be eliminated couple different ways tonight. They’re out if the Chicago Blackhawks defeat the St. Louis Blues in regulation combined with a Flames loss. The Flames can also be ousted if they lose in regulation and the Blackhawks lose in overtime or a shootout. Toronto, Atlanta, St. Louis, New Jersey, Minnesota Columbus, Ottawa, Florida, New York Islanders, Columbus, Colorado and Edmonton are already mathematically eliminated.  

-- A.J. Perez

Posted on: April 5, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2011 4:00 pm

Playoff Watch: Clinchers all around tonight

WHO CAN CLINCH: The Philadelphia Flyers can clinch the Atlantic Division with a victory over the Ottawa Senators tonight combined with a win by New Jersey Devils, who face the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers can also win the division with an overtime or shootout loss to the Sens coupled with regulation loss by the Penguins. 

The Washington Capitals can clinch the Southeast three different ways:
  • a regulation victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • a point against the Leafs via a shootout/overtime loss and a Tampa Bay Lightning loss to the Buffalo Sabres (in any manner). 
  • a Lightning loss in regulation.

The Montreal Canadiens can secure a playoff berth with any kind of victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The idle Phoenix Coyotes are in if the Dallas Stars lose to the Columbus Blue Jackets

The Los Angeles Kings, also idle, are also in with a Stars loss, as long as it’s in regulation. 

The Nashville Predators can dance in the land of milk and honey if they beat the Atlanta Thrashers (in regulation, OT or shootout) and the Stars lose in any fashion. The Preds are also in with a shootout/overtime loss and a regulation loss by Dallas. 

ALREADY IN:  Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Detroit and Washington.     

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Tampa Bay Lightning (44-24-11) at Buffalo Sabres (40-29-10), 7 p.m. ET

The Sabres will again be without goalie Ryan Miller, who will miss his fourth consecutive game with an upper body injury. Of course, with the way rookie Jhonas Enrothm (pictured above) has been playing, he doesn’t exactly have to rush back. Enroth is 2-0-1 with a 1.94 goals-against average and .936 save percentage in Miller’s absence. Enroth has gotten points in his last six starts overall and the Sabres, who enter three points ahead of idle Carolina in the eighth place, would like to see that trend to continue. 

Tampa Bay enters on a five-game win streak. Captain Vincent Lecavalier, who took a high-stick to the eye in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, will play in tonight’s game, according to The St. Petersburg Times. He had been listed as day-to-day since he received stitches and was examined by an eye doctor. 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Washington Capitals (46-22-11) at Toronto Maple Leafs (37-32-10), 7 p.m. ET
The Caps don’t need a victory to clinch the Southeast for a fourth consecutive season, but the Leafs do need one to stay alive in the playoff picture. Of course, even that may not be enough to keep the Leafs from missing the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season (see below).

GOLF WATCH:  The Toronto Maple Leafs will be eliminated if they lose (in any form) to the Capitals in regulation or overtime. Toronto is also out if the Sabres manage to get one point tonight. Atlanta, New Jersey, Minnesota Columbus, Ottawa, Florida, New York Islanders, Columbus, Colorado and Edmonton are already mathematically eliminated.  

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: April 3, 2011 1:46 pm
Edited on: April 3, 2011 3:27 pm

Playoff Watch: East race could swing in Raleigh

WHO CAN CLINCH: The idle Washington Capitals will win their fourth consecutive Southeast Division title if Tampa Bay loses in regulation to Chicago. The Detroit Red Wings can clinch the Central Division title if they beat Minnesota (regulation or OT) OR if they win via a shootout and Blackhawks lose to Tampa Bay. If the Anaheim Ducks beat the Dallas Stars, as many as three teams can secure playoff berths. The Ducks and Los Angeles Kings are in with a regulation winand the Phoenix Coyotes can earn a slot with a regulation, OT or shootout win by Anaheim.

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Buffalo Sabres (39-29-10) at Carolina Hurricanes (38-30-10), 5 p.m. ET

Separated by just two points, there's plenty on the line for this fourth and final tilt between these two teams. The Hurricanes enter on a three-game win streak and have won six of their last seven games. The 'Canes are coming off a 4-2 victory over the the New York Islanders on Saturday. They were briefly just a point out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East until the New York Rangers used a 3-2 shootout victory over Philaelphia Sunday to push that margin back to three points and move up a spot to seventh. 

The Sabres -- who enter in seventh place in the East -- felt the absence of starting goalie Ryan Miller, who missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury. Buffalo still managed to pick up a point in an OT loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday, but Jhonas Enroth was shaky at times in net.

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Dallas Stars (38-28-11) at Anaheim Ducks (44-29-5), 8 p.m. ET
This game means a lot to plenty of teams (see above).  The Stars are fighting to stay in the playoff hunt heading into the final week of the season. (Dallas’ only hope with a loss would be to catch eighth-place Chicago, but that would be a major stretch.) The Ducks have won four of the first five meetings, although they could be without defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, who left Saturday’s 4-2 loss to San Jose with an upper-body injury. The Stars have enter on a six-game skid. 

GOLF WATCH: The Calgary Flames will be eliminated if they lose to Colorado in regulation AND Chicago defeats Tampa Bay. Atlanta, New Jersey, Minnesota Columbus, Ottawa, Florida, New York Islanders, Columbus, Colorado and Edmonton are already mathematically eliminated. 
Posted on: April 2, 2011 12:42 pm
Edited on: April 2, 2011 1:24 pm

Playoff Watch: Sabres to face Caps minus Miller

WHO CAN CLINCH: The Washington Capitals can seize the Southeast Division crown wiht a victory over the Buffalo Sabres combined with a regulation loss by the Tampa Bay Lightning, who take on the Minnesota Wild. The Boston Bruins can win the Northeast with either a point against the Atlanta Thrashers or if the Montreal Canadiens lose to the New Jersey Devils. The Detroit Red Wings can clinch a playoff berth if they get one point against the Nashville Predators or if the Dallas Stars lose to the Los Angeles Kings

ALREADY IN:  Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia, San Jose, Tampa Bay and Washington.    

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Buffalo (39-29-7) at Washington Capitals (45-22-11),  7 p.m. ET

The Buffalo Sabres will face at least the first game of this vital this two-game trip minus starting goalie Ryan Miller. It possible he could join the team in Ralaiegh, where the Sabres play tomorrow, The Buffalo News reports. Miller was injured when he took a shot near his collarbone on Tuesday. The team has described it as an upper-body injury. Backup Jhonas Enroth is coming off a 1-0 shutout victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday. 

While the Sabres have to battle to hold one to one the final two seeds in the East, the Capitals remain in the hunt to repeat as conference champs. The Caps could pull ahead of the idle Philadelphia Flyers with a victory. 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Dallas Stars (38-27-11) at Los Angeles Kings (44-27-6), 4 p.m. ET

The Kings’ final five games are against Pacific Division opponents, starting with the Stars tonight. Los Angeles have lost Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams -- their two top scorers -- likely for the season over the last couple weeks and the team finally felt the lack of production as Vancouver beat the Kings, 3-1, on Thursday. Now, Los Angeles faces a Dallas team desperate to stay in playoff contention. The Stars are winless over their last five games and are 1-4-3  over the last eight. The San Jose Sharks embarrassed the Stars, who enter five points behind eighth-place Chicago, with a 6-0 victory on Thursday. 

GOLF WATCH: A regulation or OT loss by the Devils will officially end their playoff hopes. The  Thrashers are done if they lose in regulation to the Bruins. The Wild are done with any sort of loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Columbus, Ottawa, Florida, New York Islanders, Columbus, Colorado and Edmonton are already mathematically eliminated. 

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: April 1, 2011 1:01 am
Edited on: April 1, 2011 3:59 am

Washington's Wideman hospitalized with hematoma

Washington Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman lay in a hospital Thursday night repotedly suffering from a serious hematoma suffered earlier in the week. 

Wideman was injured in a collision with Carolina Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu and was forced to the dressing room during Tuesday's game. TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Thursday that the injury was a hematoma, a serious bruise where blood wells and sometimes needs surgical intervention. 

The Caps had been mum on Wideman's status from the time on the injury.

“I think we’re all kinda surprised what kind of injury it turned into,” Caps forward Mike Knuble told The Washington Times. “He could be gone a couple weeks, he could be gone a lot longer.” 

Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said after the his team's 4-3 OT victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets that Wideman, acquired before the deadline from the Florida Panthers, was week to week. 

“It happens to everybody,” Boudreau said. “Everybody’s got injuries. I’ve been on a lot of winning teams and they’ve had to fight with more guys being out than we have.”

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: March 30, 2011 3:40 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2011 3:55 pm

Playoff Watch: Seeds could shift in East tonight

WHO CAN CLINCH: The idle Tampa Bay Lightning can lock down a berth if the Carolina Hurricanes lose in regulation to the Montreal Canadiens

ALREADY IN:  Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington.   

GAME OF THE NIGHT: New York Rangers (41-30-5) at Buffalo Sabres (38-29-9), 7 p.m. ET
The Sabres could tie the seventh-place Rangers points-wise with a victory. Both enter with 33 regulation/overtime wins -- the first tiebreaker -- so if this game goes to a shootout it becomes even more convoluted. But with five games left for each team after tonight, there’s plenty of time sort things out. Buffalo, which fell to Toronto on Tuesday, is probably more worried about the team behind them. The Carolina Hurricanes are just three points back. One thing the Sabres have going for it is that they haven’t lost consecutive games since Feb. 18-20. The Rangers have won two of the first three meetings between the clubs. 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Montreal Canadiens (41-29-7) at Carolina Hurricanes (36-30-10), 7 p.m. ET
The Eastern Conference is not as bunched up for the final playoff seeds as the West, but games like this make things interesting. The ‘Canes beat the Washington Capitals --- for the first time in six meetings this season --- on Tuesday, a victory powered by rookie Jeff Skinner and the goaltending of Cam Ward. Skinner knotted the game at the end of regulation and scored one of Carolina’s two shootout goals in the 3-2 win at Verizon Center. The Hurricanes face another team that they have gone winless against this season, this time in the previous three meetings. 

GOLF WATCH: The New Jersey Devils will be eliminated a couple different ways tonight: If New Jersey loses (in regulation or overtime) and the Buffalo Sabres defeat OR if the Devils lose in regulation and the Sabres earn at least one point. The St. Louis Blues will be eliminated if: they lose to the Detroit Red Wings, in any manner.  Ottawa, Florida, New York Islanders, Colorado and Edmonton have already mathematically out of it.

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: March 30, 2011 2:38 am

Morning Skate: 'Canes gain ground in East

WASHINGTON -- Eric Staal let himself have a little glance at the out-of-town scoreboard after overtime Tuesday. 

“I didn’t want to look until the shootout started,” the Hurricanes captain said. “It was a 4-3 final, so I knew the shootout was going to be huge. Then those guys came through with those huge goals.”

Rookie Jeff Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu scored in the shootout as the Carolina beat the Washington Capitals, 3-2, at Verizon Center. The score Staal mentioned came from the only other game the ‘Canes had to concern themselves with Tuesday, a contest where the Maple Leafs squaked out win over the Buffalo Sabres.

“We got a little bit of help,” Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. “Now we have to go back at it. That’s our fate with the schedule we have this year.”

The Sabres hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the East and things just got a little tighter. Carolina moved to within three points of the Sabres and both teams have six games left on the schedule – including a head-to-head matchup on Sunday. The Leafs finished Tuesday five points behind the Sabres. 

Carolina’s playoff hopes appeared slightly dim in the second period. Referees missed a high stick by Caps defenseman Karl Alzner that resulted in a gash in Staal’s forehead, a cut which required seven stitches to close. Maurice took issue with a couple other calls, including a too many men on the ice call just before the Caps pulled ahead 2-1 on a Marcus Johansson tally late in the period. 

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  • “This game was so much more important to us than what happened there in the second period,” Maurice said. “I didn’t know what was going on. At the same time, we had to refocus and get back to playing.”

    No matter. The Caps gave it all back when goalie Semyon Varlamov let in soft goal by Skinner that tied the game 1:46 left in regulation. Overall it wasn’t a bad way for the ‘Canes to avoid getting swept by the Caps in their six meeting this season. 

    “The biggest thing coming into the game was where we are in the standings,” Skinner said. “I don’t think you look back on a head-to-head. When you come this far, your focus is on the next game and the future and it was a big two points for us.”

    Maurice added that those points were bigger when you factor in the two players that returned to the lineup for the Caps. Captain and former MVP Alex Ovechkin (out three games with an undisclosed injury) and center Jason Arnott (out six games with an undisclosed injury) were both back in action. 

    “It was a little bit of curve ball when they got their players back,” Maurice said. “We handled that well, too. We wanted to beat at team with their best. Confidence is something that we’ve been searching for. We’ve played hard and played well. You should feel good about wins like this.”

    This victory can’t be savored long. The ‘Canes will host the Montreal Canadiens tonight, another team ahead of them in the East standings. 

    Carolina 3, Washington 2 (SO)
    Toronto 4, Buffalo 3
    Philadelphia 5 Pittsburgh 2
    Columbus 3 Florida 2 (SO)
    Montreal 3, Atlanta 1
    Boston 3, Chicago 0
    Tampa Bay 5, Ottawa 2
    Minnesota 3, St. Louis 2 (SO)
    Vancouver 3, Nashville 1
    Los Angeles 2, Edmonton 0
    Phoenix 2 , Dallas 1 (SO)

    -- A.J Perez
    Posted on: March 29, 2011 10:42 pm

    Alexander Semin takes bad penalty, benched

    WASHINGTON -- A message can only be lost in translation so long. 

    Russian, English, Braille. For all the positives Washington Capitals forward Alexander Semin brings to the team -- like a goal and an assist on Tuesday -- he never has decoded a very crucial message: cut out the ill-timed penalties.

    “He was our best offensive player, but at the same time he's been doing the same thing he's done for the last five years,” Caps coach Bruce Boudreau bristled after his team's 3-2 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. “He took a dumb penalty with four minutes to go in the game. The refs didn't want to call the penalty, but they had to call it.”

    Semin, who is as media shy as they come, did not talk to reporters after the game. The Caps successfully killed off Semin's hooking penalty, an infraction 'Canes rookie Jeff Skinner drew near center ice. 

    Semin didn't take a single shift in overtime, either as punishment or fear that he'd take another bad penalty. Semin, the team's second-leading scorer with 27 goals, usually gets a fair dose of ice time in OT. He also was absent in the shootout, even though he's usually called upon there as well.

    -- A.J. Perez
    The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com