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Preview: Sharks vs. Hurricanes

San Jose makes its first and only appearance of the season in Raleigh

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

The Carolina Hurricanes return home for a pair of games featuring Western Conference opponents, beginning with a Thursday night tilt against the San Jose Sharks.

The Canes are coming off a 2-0 loss to the Boston Bruins, who remain undefeated in regulation at home this season.

Taking the Positives

Despite being shut out for the second time in their last three games, the Hurricanes are extracting the positives from Tuesday night in Boston.

And why not? The Canes went toe-to-toe with the top-ranked team in the National Hockey League in a building where the visiting club has yet to not yield at least a point to the Bruins. The Canes played 56 minutes of near airtight hockey, only to be undone by an untimely miscue.

"It was a good game. Our power plays weren't great, but we were able to kill our penalties, so that kind of washed that," head coach Rod Brind'Amour reassessed after practice on Wednesday. "The rest of the game, other than the last four minutes, I thought was pretty stellar. We just weren't able to get one by [Jaroslav Halak]. Then, we had that little error there, and it cost us the game. It's a tough loss but a good effort all the way around."

It was a tough-luck loss for the Canes, who are 2-3-0 in their last five games.

"We've got to bounce back," Brind'Amour said. "We've got to use a lot of the positives out of that, which was we did play a pretty sound game."

Gibbons Back in Raleigh

Forward Brian Gibbons is back with the Canes after being recalled Wednesday evening. Martin Necas has missed two games with a lower-body injury and remains sidelined for the time being, so the recall gives the Canes a full complement of forwards.

PROJECTED LINEUP

Gibbons has played in 11 games for the Canes this season and has amassed 11 points (3g, 8a) in 12 games with the Charlotte Checkers.

The Last Meeting

The Sharks delivered the Canes just their second loss of the season nearly two months ago in San Jose. Evander Kane netted a hat trick, which included two power-play goals, in the first period alone, springing the Sharks to a 5-2 win. The Sharks finished the game 2-for-4 on the power play, while the Canes were 0-for-4.

"Our special teams were terrible. Other than that, we were pretty fine," Brind'Amour said after the game. "The power play was not good. They got a couple bounces there. It was weird. That was really the difference in the game."

Video: CAR Recap: Hamilton, Haula score in 5-2 loss

The Opposition

After the Sharks opened the season with a 4-8-1 record in October, they won 11 of 15 games in November, which included a season-long, six-game winning streak. San Jose fell, 5-2, to Washington at home on Tuesday and now embarks on a four-game trip east, which begins in Raleigh on Thursday. Logan Couture leads the team in scoring with 28 points (8g, 20a) in 29 games.


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