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Posted On Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 1:21 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes will be without goaltender Cam Ward when they host the Washington Capitals on Thursday.

Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said Ward has a lower-body injury, but does not believe it will keep Ward out of the lineup long-term.

"I don't think it's that serious to be honest with you," Peters said. "It's a day-to-day situation. We're going to take a day off tomorrow, we gave him yesterday, so that's three in a row and we think that's the right thing to do."

Anton Khudobin, who was in goal for a 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, will get the start. The Hurricanes recalled goaltender Drew MacIntyre from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League to serve as the backup.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.02.2014 / 1:26 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Predators at Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- When the Nashville Predators play the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, the standings will tell a tale of vastly different teams.

The Predators sit atop the Central Division with a 16-5-2 record while the Hurricanes are seventh in the Metropolitan Division at 7-13-3. Their fortunes could not be much different, but Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said overall records don't mean much.

"Every game you get into, a coach nowadays, maybe in every locker room, is giving a speech that sounds something like this: 'If you're not ready to work hard tonight, you'll end up not liking the results,'" Laviolette said.

Riding a four-game winning streak, Laviolette expects the game against Carolina to be no different than one between two division leaders.

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Posted On Saturday, 11.29.2014 / 9:30 AM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Penguins at Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to even the score with the Carolina Hurricanes when the two teams complete a home-and-home series at PNC Arena on Saturday.

Hurricanes forward Nathan Gerbe scored the decisive power-play goal early in the third period Friday night in a 4-2 win. Carolina outshot Pittsburgh 35-22 and outplayed the Penguins for most of the game.

Pittsburgh center Marcel Goc did not travel with the team after taking a shot off his foot late in the first period.

"It looks like there's no break," Penguins coach Mike Johnston said. "It's a bruise right now. We will see how he comes along in the next couple days."

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Posted On Sunday, 11.16.2014 / 2:01 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sharks at Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The San Jose Sharks and Carolina Hurricanes will try to rebound Sunday after each lost one-goal games Saturday.

San Jose lost 2-1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Sharks could not take advantage of a high-sticking double-minor in the final minutes of the third period.

The game against the Hurricanes will be the sixth of a seven-game road swing for the Sharks, who are 2-3-0 on the trip.

Carolina lost 2-1 to the Boston Bruins on Saturday. Jiri Tlusty scored in the first period for the Hurricanes but the Bruins scored twice before the first period ended and held on for the win.

With both teams playing Saturday, neither team had morning skates.

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Posted On Thursday, 11.13.2014 / 1:12 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Jets at Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal will play his first full game at right wing under coach Bill Peters, skating on a line with left wing Jiri Tlusty and rookie center Victor Rask against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

Prior to the season Peters said he envisioned Eric on the wing with brother Jordan Staal, but those plans were scrapped when Jordan broke his leg in the preseason. Peters said he decided not to wait for Jordan's return and moved Eric to the wing mid-game in a 4-1 win against the Calgary Flames on Monday.

"Victor is a guy who can make plays on his forehand obviously and get it over to the right side," Peters said. "And Staal with wide speed can maybe turn the corner and get to the net and be dangerous."

After playing nearly his entire career at center, Staal is greeting the move with enthusiasm. His primary goal for the first game?

"I hope we win," he said without hesitation. "That's first and foremost. I'm looking to play the same style game: attack the net, use my size and skating ability, and hopefully touch a lot of pucks."

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Posted On Monday, 11.10.2014 / 1:34 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Flames at Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley is selling the final game of their five-game road trip against the Carolina Hurricanes as an important one. With a 3-1-0 record so far, he wants his players to understand what is at stake.

"It's in our hand whether we're going to be OK or we're going to be very good," Hartley said. "You don't celebrate anything at 3-2; we did our job. If we're 4-1, that's very good. There's a huge difference."

The Flames will finish the trip with the NHL's First Star of the Week in defenseman Mark Giordano. He had two goals and five assists in three games, including an assist on an overtime goal against the Washington Capitals on Nov. 4.

"I felt like things were going well, obviously, and I put up some numbers," said Giordano, who leads NHL defenseman with 18 points. "It's nice to get recognized. It feels good, but it's not a huge deal in the big scheme of things, as far as our team and wins and losses."

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Posted On Friday, 11.07.2014 / 1:26 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson will sit out the first game of a three-game suspension Friday. Johnson was suspended by the NHL Department of Player Safety on Wednesday for an illegal check to the head of Carolina Hurricanes forward Jiri Tlusty in a 4-2 win by the Hurricanes on Tuesday night in Columbus.

Tlusty did not return to the game after the third-period hit, but he is expected to play Friday after completing the concussion protocol.

"I anticipate him playing," said Carolina coach Bill Peters, whose team has won three in a row. "He says he's felt good, so I think he will be in. He's passed all his tests and he will play normal minutes."

Tlusty leads Carolina with six goals through 11 games.

Johnson's spot in the lineup will be taken by James Wisniewski, who returns to the lineup after missing three games with a broken finger.

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Posted On Sunday, 11.02.2014 / 3:40 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Kings at Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings at PNC Arena.

Semin has two assists in eight games.

"We gave it a little bit of thought," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "We had three forwards come in this morning for treatment, and if one of those guys wouldn't have been able to go, we would have made some moves. But they are all deemed healthy and ready to play, so I want to keep the lineup the same."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.01.2014 / 1:21 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Coyotes at Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- When Bill Peters took over as coach of the Carolina Hurricanes in June, he made it clear that he would have the "ultimate hammer," using ice time as a way to get the most out of his players.

The Hurricanes coach made good on his point, planning to make forward Alexander Semin a healthy scratch ahead of Carolina's game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night. In eight games, Semin has two assists and carries a -7 plus/minus rating.

Peters seemed to have no reservations about his decision. Despite the Hurricanes 0-6-2 start, he was enthusiastic in the moments after the morning skate, noting the damp, chilly fall weather and expressing an eagerness to get underway against the Coyotes.

As for Semin sitting out, he was matter-of-fact in saying he hopes that Semin isn't the only player who will receive the message.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.14.2014 / 1:44 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sabres at Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes are in the same boat early in the season, but it hasn't been smooth sailing.

The Sabres are coming off a disheartening 5-1 home loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, one that left them searching for answers. 

Sabres coach Ted Nolan was unhappy with the team in the moments after falling to 0-3-0. After the morning skate Tuesday he expressed the same sentiments.

"It's frustrating," Nolan said. "It's mind-boggling to me when you don't work and you don't compete. You don't need any skill set for that. You need some insides to go compete and battle."

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— Martin Brodeur, after announcing his retirement as an NHL player and becoming a senior adviser with the Blues on Thursday