Tag:Carolina Hurricanes
Posted on: March 29, 2011 7:04 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 7:33 pm
 

Ovechkin, Arnott back in lineup for Capitals

WASHINGTON -- Both Alex Ovechkin and Jason Arnott are in the lineup as the Washington Capitals take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. 

Ovechkin had missed the last three games with what Washington coach Bruce Boudreau called nagging injuries. Arnott has not played since March 13, missing the past six games with an undisclosed injury. 

Ovechkin and Arnott returned to practice in recent days. 

Follow the game on our GameTacker.

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: March 29, 2011 2:55 pm
 

Playoff Watch: 'Canes look for win No.1 over Caps

WHO CAN CLINCH: The Tampa Bay Lightning can lock down a playoff spot if they beat the Ottawa Senators and the Carolina Hurricanes lose to the Washington Capitals in regulation. The Vancouver Canucks can win the Western Conference by earning at least one point against the Nashville Predators tonight. 

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

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Carolina Hurricanes (35-30-10) at Washington Capitals (44-22-10), 7 p.m. ET
The ‘Canes enter five points in back of the Buffalo Sabres, who hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. Carolina has lost each of the first five meetings between these Southeast Division rivals and the ‘Canes are coming off a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. 

The Capitals could get forwards Alex Ovechkin and Jason Arnott back in the lineup tonight. (Both have been sidelined with undisclosed injuries.) Washington coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn’t disclose to reporters at the morning skate if either will see action, but both skated with the team again. The Caps are returning from a season-long six-game trip where they posted a 4-2-0 record. For the month of March, Washington is 11-2-0. 

Carolina forwards Eric Staal, Cory Stillman and Erik Cole each enter with four-game points streaks.

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Dallas Stars (38-26-10) at Phoenix Coyotes (41-25-11), 10 p.m. ET

The Stars enter the night four points out of eighth, making this final regular season meeting between these Pacific Division rivals crucial. Phoenix has won three of the first five meetings and the last three contests were decided by a goal. Dallas enters 1-3-2 over the last five games, a skid that has seen the Stars drop from fourth to 10th in the West. 

GOLF WATCH: No new teams will be eliminated today. Ottawa, Florida, New York Islanders, Colorado and Edmonton have already mathematically out of it.
Posted on: March 26, 2011 2:52 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2011 5:25 pm
 

Playoff Watch: Carolina, Tampa get quick rematch

WHO CAN CLINCH: The Pittsburgh Penguins (idle Saturday) are in if the Carolina Hurricanes lose in any fashion. The Boston Bruins could have clinched with some help today, but fell to the New York Rangers, 1-0.

ALREADY IN: Vancouver, Philadelphia and Washington. 

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Tampa Bay Lightning (39-24-11) at Carolina Hurricanes (35-29-10), 7 p.m. ET

The first half of this home-and-home went well for the ‘Canes, who remained three points behind the eighth-place Buffalo Sabres. Erik Cole scored twice to lead Carolina past host Tampa Bay, 4-3, on Friday. The teams have split the first four meetings this season, although the two Southeast Division clubs have been going in opposite directions as of late. 

The ‘Canes enter on a three-game winning streak, while the Lightning have dropped four in a row with only two victories over the last 10 games. (Tampa did get points in four of those games with OT/shootout losses.) Tampa has allowed three goals on the penalty kill over the last two games, but they’ve also scored that many on the power play with two coming off the stick of Simon Gagne on Friday. 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Anaheim Ducks (41-28-5) at Chicago Blackhawks (40-25-8), 8:30 p.m. ET

With the Western Conference standings as bunched up as they are, this Blackhawks (seventh place) and the Ducks (eighth) game should have another playoff game vibe to it. When Patrick Kane scores, like he did in Wednesday’s victory over the Florida Panthers, things usually bode well for the ‘Hawks, who are 15-1-2 when the forward lights the lamp. It’ll be interesting to see which goalie -- Jonas Hiller, Dan Ellis or Ray Emery -- Ducks coach Randy Carlyle will go with tonight. Hiller was shaky in his return from more than a month off due to vertigo and Ellis and Emery had been solid in net in recent weeks. 

GOLF WATCH: The New York Islanders need to win and have the Buffalo Sabres lose in regulation to remain in it. Florida, Ottawa, Edmonton, and Colorado are already mathematically eliminated. 

--- A.J. Perez
Posted on: March 25, 2011 4:04 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2011 4:07 pm
 

Playoff Watch: Pens can clinch against Devils

WHO CAN CLINCH: The Pittsburgh Penguins can clinch a spot with a victory over the New Jersey Devils combined with a Carolina Hurricanes loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Pens could also clinch if they get a point and the 'Canes lose in regulation. 

ALREADY IN: Vancouver, Philadelphia and Washington. 

GAME OF THE NIGHT: New Jersey Devils (34-35-4) at Pittsburgh Penguins (43-23-8), 7 p.m. ET

The Pens can clinch a playoff spot a couple different ways (see above), but the Devils are just trying to hang on. The Devils have nine games renaming, all but two against teams currently in the top-8 in the Eastern Conference. Only the Atlanta Thrashers have a tougher schedule for teams entering play Friday 12th place or better in the East. 

The Devils, who start the night nine points behind eighth-place Buffalo, are looking to avoid what would be their first two-game skid since Jan. 8.  New Jersey will get a boost as soon as Wednesday when Zach Parise could return. He's been out since Oct. 30 with a torn meniscus and began skating with the team this week. The Pens may get back center Sidney Crosby in the not-so-distant future as well. He skated again on Friday, but did not talk to reporters. GM Ray Shero told NHL.com that the team still has “no expectations, no timetable” for Crosby's return. 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Carolina Hurricanes (34-29-10) at Tampa Bay Lightning (39-23-11), 7:30 p.m. ET
These two Southeast Division teams will become familiar with each other down the stretch. They will face each three times over the final nine games, contests that are little more vital for the 'Canes. Carolina in ninth place, tied points-wise with Toronto, and three points behind Buffalo. 

GOLF WATCH: The Ottawa Senators will need a victory plus a regulation loss by Buffalo to remain in it mathematically. The Florida Panthers will get the boot if they don't beat the Sabres in regulation. Colorado and Edmonton have already been eliminated. 
-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: March 23, 2011 1:36 am
Edited on: March 23, 2011 1:54 am
 

Morning Skate: Rookie Reimer keeps Leafs going



Toronto Maples Leafs rookie goalie James Reimer must be doing something right if he's getting compared to a Transformer.

A couple “Optimus Reim” posters were spotted Xcel Energy Center Tuesday night where Reimer turned in a 29-save performance in a 3-0 Leafs victory over the Minnesota Wild, the Toronto Star reports.

The 23-year-old from Arborg, Manitoba, is the chief reason Toronto still has a shot at its first postseason berth since before the lockout. He had fair amount of admirers as friends and family members made the 540-mile trek from his hometown.

“You always want to win and always want to put on a good show for family, especially when they drive a long way,” Reimer told the newspaper. “They’re the ones who put in the time and effort into my life and into my hockey career.”
Line Changes

Reimer is 11-3-4 over his last 18 decisions and his three shutouts have come since Feb. 3. Not bad for a guy who was sent down to the AHL three times this season.

The Leafs finished the night in 10th place in the East, five points behind the eighth-place Buffalo Sabres. The Leafs have eight games remaining and it’s a safe bet Reimer will get a chance to start in each of those -- especially when you factor in the outrage when coach Ron Wilson started J.S. Giguere in a loss to Florida last Thursday.

Beyond the playoff push, Reimer has also emerged as a candidate for the Calder Trophy. The discussion for the league's top rookie has been dominated by Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner, San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture, New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner and Sabres forward Tyler Ennis.

Unlike those skaters who are on lines with talented teammates, Reimer is often on his own --- like when he turned away two shorthanded breakaway chances on Tuesday. But what'll hurt his Calder hopes is his short resume.

He'll play at most 37 games, fewer than Chicago's Corey Crawford, Philly's Sergei Bobrovsky and Washington's Michal Neuvirth --- all rookie goalies with solid stats on playoff-bound teams.

But if he gets the Leafs into the playoffs, that'll cover up his short job history and transfrorm him into Calder contender. 

COOKE AFTERMATH: It appears New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh feels for Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke, who was suspended Monday for the rest of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs for an elbow he delivered last weekend to McDonagh’s head. 

He spoke with Rangers broadcast outlet MSG before Tuesday’s game (Here’s the quote transcribed by TSN.ca): 

“You're trying to get good momentum going into the playoffs or keep your playoff spot and that was a close game at the time and momentum could go the other way. I think he's trying to make a big hit and he just caught me wrong. I don't think it was his intent.

"The suspension … it is what it is. The league is really pushing to get these hits out of the game. If that's a statement, it's a pretty big statement, for sure."


Earlier in the day, Pittsburgh's two newspapers (The Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review) reported Cooke expressed regret for the collision: 

"I realize and understand, more so now than ever, that I need to change," Mr. Cooke said. "That's what I wanted my message to be."

"I'm fortunate that Ryan McDonagh wasn't hurt," he said. "I don't want to hurt anybody. That's not my intention. I know that I can be better. ... I made a mistake, and I'm the one who's accountable for that. And I take full responsibility for it."


WEST END: Four points separate the fourth-place Phoenix Coyotes and 10th-place Calgary Flames entering play Wednesday. At the same point last season, that margin between the same two places in the Western Conference was 19 points.


TUESDAY'S RESULTS
NY Rangers 1, Florida 0
Boston 4, New Jersey 1
Carolina 4, Ottawa 3
Washington 5, Philadelphia 4 (SO)
Buffalo 2, Montreal 0
NY Islanders 5, Tampa Bay 2
Nashville 3, Edmonton 1
Toronto 3, Minnesota 0
Colorado 5, Columbus 4 (SO)
Phoenix 2, St. Louis 1

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 18, 2011 3:34 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2011 3:41 pm
 

Playoff Watch: Devils face another roadblock

WHO CAN CLINCH:  The idle Philadelphia Flyers could clinch a playoff berth if the Carolina Hurricanes lose in regulation and the New Jersey Devils lose in any form. The Washington Capitals would get in by beating the Devils combined with a Carolina loss in regulation. 

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Washington Capitals (41-21-10) at New Jersey Devils (33-33-4), 7 p.m. ET

The Devils didn't help their playoff push by losing 3-1 to the last-place Ottawa Senators on Thursday. The task gets just slightly more difficult tonight as New Jersey plays host to Washington. The Capitals are 9-1-0 over their last 10 and are primed to challenge the Flyers for the top spot in the East. 

The Devils, who have won 23 of the last 29 games, enter six points out of the eighth and final spot in the East. With only 11 games remaining after tonight, the Devils are running out of time to complete their improbable comeback. This game will mark the first time David Steckel will play his former club and could have seen the return of Jason Arnott. But Arnott, swapped for Steckel before the deadline, has an undisclosed injury and the Caps say he’s week-to-week. 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Phoenix Coyotes (38-23-11) at Vancouver Canucks (47-16-9), 10 p.m. ET 

The road team has won each of the first three meetings between these two clubs. While the Canucks have already clinched a playoff berth, the Coyotes could move to within a point of the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks with a victory. 

GOLF WATCH: Edmonton Oilers have been mathematically eliminated.   
Posted on: March 16, 2011 3:29 pm
Edited on: March 16, 2011 3:30 pm
 

Playoff Watch: Canucks can clinch berth tongiht



WHO CAN CLINCH: The Vancouver Canucks will become the first team to clinch a playoff berth (via securing the Northwest Division title) by earning at least one point tonight against the Colorado Avalanche.

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Toronto Maple Leafs (30-30-10) at the Carolina Hurricanes (32-28-10), 7 pm ET.

The Maple Leafs could all but call off their bid to return to the postseason for the first time in since before the lockout with a loss tonight. Losers of four of their last five entering tonight’s contest at RBC Center, Toronto would slip to 12th in the Eastern Conference and fall to six points back of eighth-place Buffalo if they don't manage to secure at least a point. 

The Hurricanes are coming off 1-0 victory over the Sabres, Carolina’s first road win in a month, and could pull even with Buffalo (76 points) with a victory. (Buffalo would remain in eighth since it has a game in hand, thus a better winning percentage.) Cam Ward made 44 saves against the Sabres on Tuesday as he made Brandon Sutter’s goal late in the first period hold up.

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Washington Capitals (41-20-10) at Detroit Red Wings (41-20-8), 7:30 pm, Versus.

There are only four games on the schedule tonight, but Versus will broadcast what should be a high-powered contest against two of the best teams in NHL. The Caps enter on a nine-game winning streak and we’ll get to see two Russian buddies, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, go head to head.

GOLF WATCH: Edmonton Oilers have been mathematically eliminated. 

PLAYOFF TRACKER

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 15, 2011 3:38 pm
 

Playoff Watch: 'Canes look to keep pace in East

Carolina Hurricanes (31-28-10) at Buffalo Sabres (34-27-8)

HSBC Arena, 7:30 p.m. ET (Versus) 


SERIES: Carolina (9th in East) 1-1-0; Buffalo (7th in East) 1-0-1
IMPLICATIONS: Carolina can move to within fourth place with a victory combined with a New York Rangers loss. (The Rangers host the New York Islanders tonight.) Buffalo won’t fall out of the top-8 no matter what happens tonight, but would slip to eighth with a loss coupled with a Rangers win. 

BREAKDOWN: The Sabres have netted points in each of their last four home games, but these are a couple crucial points up for grabs since the ‘Canes are one of a handful of teams with a shot for the final two playoff slots in the Eastern Conference. Counting tonight’s contest, the Sabres have 13 games with four of those against teams that enter 8th-10th in the standings (Carolina, 2 games, Rangers and Toronto). 

The Hurricanes, winless in their last four outings, are seeking their first road win since Feb. 13 and Carolina might not be able to count on their power play. Carolina hasn’t scored on their last 21 opportunities on the power play, a span of five games.  The Sabres, meanwhile, have allowed just one goal over their last 16 penalty kill opportunities. 

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Carolina F Jeff Skinner vs. Buffalo F Tyler Ennis. This is another chance to see a couple leading contenders for the Calder Trophy go head to head. Skinner scored his 24th goal of the season over the weekend, but it was only his second tally over the last 10 games as his production has slowed since he was featured attraction at the All-Star game in Raleigh. Skinner, however, still leads all rookies in scoring with 50 points. Ennis enters on a three-game point streak and is coming off a two-goal effort against Ottawa on Sunday.

KEY STAT: 126. The number of goals the Sabres are on pace to score over the second half of the season, which would be a 22-goal improvement over the first 41 games. 
 
 
 
 
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