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02/04/2014
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Hurricanes face goaltending decision vs. Jets

Monday, 02.03.2014 / 2:20 PM

JETS (27-25-5) at HURRICANES (25-20-9)

TV: TSN-JETS, FS-CR

Last 10: Winnipeg 8-2-0; Carolina 6-4-0

Season series: This is the first of two games between the Winnipeg Jets and Carolina Hurricanes. The Jets won their last meeting, 4-3 in April 2013. Blake Wheeler had a goal and two assists and Dustin Byfuglien scored in overtime.

Big story: Jets coach Paul Maurice has led Winnipeg to an 8-2-0 record since taking over on Jan. 12. He was the coach for the Hurricanes from 1997-04 and again from 2008-12. The Hurricanes, who beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 on Friday, look to build on their 10-win month in January, the first time since 2009 they have won 10 games in a month.

Team Scope:

Jets: Winnipeg started a four-game road trip with a 2-1 win at the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday. After Tuesday they will also play at the Washington Capitals and St. Louis Blues.

"It's nice to get that start on this trip. This trip is so big for us. Every game is big for us but we want to finish strong before the break and it was nice to get a win to start off the trip," defenseman Mark Stuart said after the game.

In their past 10 games, the Jets have been better defensively, allowing only 21 goals.

"Something we've talked about is taking care of our own end … If we take care of our own end, we feel the offense is going to come," captain Andrew Ladd said.

Hurricanes: Goalie Cam Ward finished a conditioning stint with Charlotte of the American Hockey League on Sunday and was one of three goalies practicing Monday along with Justin Peters and Anton Khudobin. Coach Kirk Muller wouldn't say who will start Tuesday.

"We'll make a decision [Tuesday] who will be the starter. The nice thing is that [Ward] is healthy now and he had a couple of good games and is ready to go, which is a great thing," Muller said after practice according to the Raleigh Observer.

Ward has not played since Dec. 31 and has allowed three or more goals in eight straight starts. Khudobin started 13 of 14 games in January.

"Khudobin is playing exceptionally well and given this team a chance to win every night. I'm just going to be patient and wait for that next opportunity, and when I get it take advantage of it and try to help this team win," Ward said.

Who's hot: Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom has one goal and four points in five games. Despite being held off the score sheet Sunday, Wheeler has four goals in four games. … Hurricanes forward Alexander Semin has seven goals in eight games.

Injury report: Jets forward Evander Kane (hand) will miss several weeks. Forwards Jim Slater (hernia), Matt Halischuk (forearm) and defenseman Grant Clitsome (back) are out. Defenseman Paul Postma (blood clot) is on a conditioning stint with St. John's of the AHL. … Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen (heel) is out for the season.

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