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Preview: Ducks vs. Hurricanes

Canes host Ducks on Hockey Fights Cancer Night

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

The Carolina Hurricanes close out the month of November by hosting the Anaheim Ducks on Hockey Fights Cancer Night at PNC Arena.

After having their three-game winning streak snapped in Brooklyn on Saturday, the Hurricanes rebounded with a 2-1 win in Montreal on Tuesday, backed by Curtis McElhinney's 48-save performance.

The Canes now return home for a night before heading out on a weeklong road trip through California.

Mac Attack

McElhinney's 48 saves in Montreal matched a career single-game high for the veteran netminder, and he stole two points for the Hurricanes to win his fourth consecutive start.

"We all kind of just jumped on Mac's back there," said Trevor van Riemsdyk, whose pinball goal in the second period ended up the game-winner. "He made some special saves. He stole that one for us."

"The win is all that matters. We got pretty fortunate tonight," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "It was probably the first game this year that was like that. We've had a couple of those go the other way against us, so now I know how that feels where the goalie just stole the game. We need that sometimes."

McElhinney has made 145 saves on 150 shots in his last four games, posting a 1.25 goals-against average and a .967 save percentage in that time.

Now, he's one of two goaltenders the Hurricanes will deploy for the foreseeable future.

On Thursday, the Hurricanes placed Scott Darling on waivers with the intention of assigning him to the American Hockey League. Petr Mrazek is healthy, and McElhinney figures to get the start on Friday against Anaheim.

"We milked that as long as we could, just to be fair to everybody, our team and those guys, too. Having three [goaltenders] just doesn't set up very well. It's hard to practice, hard to get their reps and keep any kind of consistency," Brind'Amour said. "Mac has played extremely well. … Mac has earned the right to be here. We all would agree on that."

Question Marks Up Front

Micheal Ferland did not practice with the Hurricanes on Thursday, and his status for Friday night remains up in the air.

PROJECTED LINEUP

"We're just giving him another day," Brind'Amour said. "I'm not sure exactly if he's going to be available or not."

The Hurricanes recalled Clark Bishop Thursday afternoon. Bishop, who made his NHL debut on Oct. 20, could center the team's fourth line, should Brind'Amour want to move Victor Rask up the lineup and Sebastian Aho over to the wing.

"We all know Victor is a top-nine forward, and we have him basically not playing top-nine minutes. We've got to find a spot for him," Brind'Amour said. "I'm not sure that's how it will shake out tomorrow, but it's something I wanted to look at."  

The Opposition

Tonight's match marks the fourth stop on a five-game road trip for the Ducks. After dropping a 5-2 decision in Nashville, Anaheim scored wins on back-to-back nights in Tampa Bay and Florida. Captain Ryan Getzlaf leads the team in scoring with 18 points (6g, 12a).


ADVANCE AUTO PARTS KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Follow the Recipe

The Hurricanes have gotten away from what makes them successful in the last couple of games, even including the 2-1 win in Montreal. As head coach Rod Brind'Amour said this morning, the team needs to get back to doing the little things right and following their recipe for success.

2. Get Physical

Micheal Ferland is out of the lineup tonight, and he's a key component in how physical the Canes are on a night-to-night basis. Don't let this aspect slip in his absence.

3. Ride the Wave

The crowd was rambunctious and alive in the last home game, and it didn't go unnoticed by the Canes. Bring the energy again tonight, fans, and the Canes will feed off that.


AT THE RINK

It's Hockey Fights Cancer Night at PNC Arena, and there's a lot happening to support this initiative. The first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive Hockey Fights Cancer wish bracelets courtesy of UNC REX Healthcare, and "I Fight For" cards will be distributed at the doors. These cards can be personalized and decorated at three designated stations on the main and third-level concourses. You can also purchase Hockey Fights Cancer mystery pucks for $30 each at the Carolina Hurricanes Foundation kiosk. Doors open at 6 p.m.


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