Tag: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 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: 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. 
Posted on: March 11, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Playoff Watch: ‘Canes look to solve Caps



Carolina Hurricanes (31-26-10) at Washington Capitals (38-20-10)

Verizon Center, 7 p.m. ET

SEASON SERIES: Carolina 0-3-1; Washington 4-0-0

IMPLICATIONS: Carolina would pull into a tie with Buffalo and the New York Rangers at 74 points with a win. (The ‘Canes would technically be in eighth place since they have a game in hand.) The Caps would move to within two points of the East lead as Philly has the night off. Conversely, a loss coupled with a Tampa Bay win Friday would knock them out of the division lead since the Lightning would have a game in hand and, thus, a better winning percentage.

BREAKDOWN: This would be a good time for the Hurricanes to get their first victory of the season against their Southeast Division rivals. Other than a 3-0 tilt on Oct. 27, these games have all been decided in Washington’s favor by a single goal. 

The Caps enter on a six-game winning streak and a victory would give them the longest string of wins on the season. Braden Holtby, who earned his first career shutout against Wednesday against the Oilers, will get the start in net for Washington.  The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera reports No. 1 goalie Michal Neuvirth is healthy, although left this morning’s optional skate early. The Caps will again be without first-line center Nicklas Backstrom, who won’t get the cast that protects his injured left thumb removed for a few days. 

Cam Ward will be back in the Carolina net tonight after a one-game break. He had started the previous 24 games in a row for Carolina. He is 13-7-4 with a 2.58 goals-against average and three shutouts lifetime against Washington. 

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Carolina center Eric Staal vs. Washington ceter Marcus Johansson. Staal, one away from reaching the 30-goal mark, has a point in four consecutive games. Johansson, a rookie, has stepped into the No. 1 line after Backstrom went out after the second period of Monday’s game. The 20-year-old gets to play with Alex Ovechkin on one of his wings, so that’s never a bad thing. 

KEY STAT: 41. Number of games out of 55 the Caps have won at least  half of their faceoffs. 

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
 
 
 
 
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