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Posted On Tuesday, 03.11.2014 / 1:19 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Dorsett returns to Rangers lineup against Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Looking for a third win in a row, the New York Rangers will make one change against the Carolina Hurricanes: forward Derek Dorsett will take Daniel Carcillo's spot in the lineup.

Dorsett has played in two of the past five games after missing 18 with a broken fibula sustained Jan. 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"They're both the same type of player," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "They bring energy, physicality. I just want to get Dorsett in. He's been out for a long time. He was playing on a regular basis before his injury. I just think we've got a lot of hockey coming up here and we need to put Dorsett in."

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Posted On Friday, 03.07.2014 / 12:54 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Zuccarello expected back for Rangers

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The New York Rangers will try to snap a three-game winless streak (0-2-1) when they face the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

Forward Mats Zuccarello is expected to return to the New York lineup after sustaining a broken hand during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He has missed the first four games since the Rangers returned from the break.

Newly acquired forward Martin St. Louis will play his second game for the Rangers, who did not skate Friday morning. He recorded three shots in his debut Tuesday, playing on a line with Carl Hagelin and Brad Richards.

The Hurricanes come off a 3-2 overtime win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, snapping a five-game losing streak.

"We want to play a fast game here [Friday] and build off the game against San Jose, which is arguably our best game of the year," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "I thought our compete level was real high. We put pucks in an area where we were able to retrieve them and we were able to spend a lot of time in the offensive zone."

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Posted On Saturday, 02.08.2014 / 9:31 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - Road to Sochi blog

Pacioretty: I'm going to Sochi

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty said he's going to the Sochi Olympics despite leaving the game Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes with 7:30 remaining in the first period after being checked into the goal post.

"I'm OK. I'm going to Sochi," the U.S. Olympian said in the dressing room after Montreal's 4-1 victory. NHL players taking part in the Games are scheduled to fly to Russia on Sunday.

Pacioretty drove hard to the net and was hit by Hurricanes defenseman Brett Bellemore. He appeared to be favoring his left forearm as he skated slowly to the dressing room. He didn't return, and the Canadiens announced during the second period that Pacioretty had sustained a lower-body injury.

The 25-year-old has a team-leading 26 goals and 11 assists for Montreal this season.

"It's a play I make often," Pacioretty said. "I went in a little bit awkwardly. I banged up my arm and my hip. I was very worried at first. It was tough to breath and I was having (back) spasms. Once that went away, I was feeling a lot better. I got a lot of treatment during the game and I'm feeling a lot better."

Pacioretty didn't hesitate when asked if he was certain to be ready for the Olympics. He expected some lingering bruising, but otherwise felt he avoided a more serious injury.

"I think I got lucky," he said. "It could have been a lot worse."

Pacioretty is one of seven Canadiens who will compete in Sochi.

"If he was to miss that, it would be a terrible loss," said Montreal goalie Carey Price, who will play for Canada. "It's a very cool life experience to take part in."

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Posted On Friday, 02.07.2014 / 12:10 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Muller wants to see Hurricanes' offense get aggressive

RALEIGH, N.C. -- When the Carolina Hurricanes face the Florida Panthers on Friday, they will look for a little more grit from the power play and a little less emphasis on style points.

The Hurricanes have fallen to 28th in the NHL with a 14.1-percent success rate on the man-advantage. They have three power-play goals in their past nine games.

"We've got to attack the net more," coach Kirk Muller said. "We're too much of a perimeter power play, looking for the nice plays and it just doesn't happen. [We need to be] more direct, have more urgency."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.04.2014 / 1:14 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Maurice sees Jets responding to success

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice has 10 games under his belt since taking over Jan. 12. The Jets' 8-2-0 mark ties the best 10-game stretch in franchise history.

As a result the Jets have gone from the far edges of the Stanley Cup Playoff chase to just four points behind the eighth-place Vancouver Canucks. Mauricehas managed to get the most out of his new team without an overhaul.

"In the games toward the end when the coach is in trouble, you can see it in the players' body language," Maurice said. "But here they were going, they were trying. They just needed a little adjustment, a little refocus. There were a lot of good things in the Winnipeg Jets' game and we tried to keep those."

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Posted On Friday, 01.31.2014 / 12:58 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues' Hitchcock matches wits against former pupil

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The St. Louis Blues will aim for a fourth straight win and a share of the Central Division lead Friday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes. With 77 points, the Blues trail the Chicago Blackhawks by two points and also have four games in hand.

St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock will match wits with Carolina counterpart Kirk Muller, who played for Hitchcock with the Dallas Stars. Hitchcock had no problem admitting the coaching matchup feels awkward.

"It's hard for me to look at Kirk as anything but a player yet," Hitchcock said. "When you're looking at a guy that's played for you, and you've had such a unique relationship and so much success with them, it's hard for me to look at him as a guy you've got to coach against. It looks like a friend who happens to be standing on the other team's bench."

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Posted On Monday, 01.27.2014 / 1:30 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Winning 'contagious' for Hurricanes, Blue Jackets

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes have played themselves into the thick of the Eastern Conference race on the strength of winning streaks.

The Blue Jackets saw their eight-game streak snapped in a 5-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, but they will have the chance to recapture the feeling against the Hurricanes on Monday.

"It's contagious," Columbus forward Nathan Horton said. "You come to the rink and you know you're going to win. That's the good feeling about winning. When you lose after a long streak, you want to get back on the horse and in the win column."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.25.2014 / 9:00 AM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Methot back for Senators for early start

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Ottawa Senators will try to overcome two frustrating trends when they face the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday at noon.

In games that start before 7 p.m., the Senators are 1-7-2 this season. Then there is the issue of playing at Carolina, where the Hurricanes are 10-0-1 against the Senators in the past 11 games.

Ottawa defenseman Marc Methot is expected to return to the lineup after sitting out the past two games.

Carolina forward Patrick Dwyer will miss his second straight game with a lower-body injury.

Here are the projected lineups:

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Posted On Sunday, 01.19.2014 / 4:45 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Lightning's Hedman injured, out against Hurricanes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman injured his right ankle in a 5-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday and did not return. He was ruled out Sunday against theCarolina Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes appeared to emerge healthy after their 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday night. Goaltender Anton Khudobin made his seventh straight start, but coach Kirk Mullerdidn't tip his hand on his starter Sunday. Backup goalie Justin Peters has not played since a Dec. 27 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and will get the call against the Lightning.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.18.2014 / 1:33 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Hurricanes hope reunited top line solves scoring woes

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes will try to break a scoring drought that has resulted in back-to-back shutout losses against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames when they face the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

To address their scoring issues the Hurricanes have reunited Jiri TlustyEric Staal and Alexander Semin, the team's top line from last season. This season the trio has combined for 22 goals through 46 games; last season they had 54.

"I just want them to be one of our hardest working lines. That's all," coach Kirk Muller said Saturday morning. "They're capable of scoring and making plays. But if they put the work ethic into it -- discipline, short shifts and play hard -- hey, they might score this weekend, they might not. But when it finally kicks in, they've got the chemistry to be a very potent line."

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