RALEIGH, NC -- The Carolina Hurricanes are looking to rebound from a tough 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Friday and make up some ground in their push for a postseason position.
They remain in mix for a playoff spot in the NHL's Metropolitan Division, sitting six points away from the third-place New York Islanders. They have gone 5-3-2 in their last 10 skates and are trying to keep pace with the New Jersey Devils (fourth in the division, 55 points) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (fifth in the division, 53 points).
They are also three points out of a wildcard spot and they know they can't take any games off if they want to be in the playoff picture in the spring.
"It’s always the next game and the next day," Jordan Staal told CarolinaHurricanes.com. "We’re a team that’s going to show up tomorrow ready to work and move forward."
Veteran netminder Cam Ward was diagnosed with a concussion this past Wednesday so Daniel Altshuller, the Hurricanes third round pick in 2012, has been summoned from the Charlotte Checkers. He will likely back up Eddie Lack tonight, who has gotten the start in Carolina's past two games.
Lack is 7-9-4 this season with a 2.85 GAA and a .896 save percentage. He made 28 saves in Friday's loss and picked up his first shutout of the year on Thursday when he stopped all 32 shots the Toronto Maple Leafs sent his way.
Defenceman Brett Pesce (lower body) and forward Riley Nash (illness) did skate at the Hurricanes practice on Saturday and their status for tonight's game is unknown. They are both considered day-to-day with their maladies.
BREAKING DOWN THE HURRICANES
Power Play: 16.8% overall (25 goals scored in 149 chances with the man advantage), 18.6% at home (13 goals scored in 70 chances with the man advantage)
Penalty Kill: 81.2% overall (22 goals allowed in 117 times being short-handed), 85.7% at home (8 goals allowed in 56 times being short-handed)
2015-16 Record vs. the Flames: 0-0-0
2014-15 Record vs. the Flames: 1-1-0
Notable Injuries: James Wisniewski (ACL), Cam Ward (concussion)
Who's HOT: Andrej Nestrasil
The 24-year-old center has picked up points in three of his last five games, including setting up the Hurricanes lone goal against the New York Rangers on Friday night. Nestrasil, who was selected in the third round (75th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, has five goals and 15 points in 42 games this year.
Honourable Mention: Jordan Staal
In his last nine contests, the 28-year-old has four goals and eight points. In his last five games, he has scored a game-winning goal (against Toronto on Jan. 21), has one assist (in Vancouver on Jan. 15), seven shots, and hasn't dipped below 58.3 percent in the face-off circle.
Who's NOT: Eric Staal
The Hurricanes captain has been held pointless in his last five games and is a minus-two in that span. Staal has points in just three games in the month of January as well.
The 31-year-old is second in team scoring, with nine goals and 28 points in 49 skates this season.