Coach Paul Maurice said that goaltender Cam Ward
will start in goal for the second consecutive night tonight against the east's best team, the Boston Bruins.
The four goals agianst didn't do justice to how Ward played last night. He made 27 saves and kept the Canes in the game during a flurry of golden chances for Atlanta in the second period. A few of the goals that did beat him were on tips and bouncing pucks through traffic that are difficult for any goalie to get a handle on.
"That was a brutal night for goaltenders," said Maurice of the 5-4 victory. "That's the worst game is the day after Christmas for 'tenders. They get hung out to try and they have to make great saves post-to-post. He was outstanding last night."
Although he didn't skate at this morning's optional session, Maurice said he "expects Dennis (Seidenberg) to be here" for tonight's game. Whether he can actually suit up or not after coming down with a nasty illness yesterday will be more of a game-time decision. If he can't go, Wade Brookbank will pick up a minute or two on defense as he did last night.
The Canes did fairly well in their last match-up against the Bruins, a 4-2 loss seven days ago against a team that had won 12 straight at home, but will be looking for more this time around against one of the NHL's best this season.
"I'd like tonight for us to see if we can shut them down, because that will be a great test for us," said Maurice. "Swining with these guys doesn't do you any good. You don't learn anything. If we can shut them down tonight, we gain some confidence from that for the next two or three weeks.
"The easiest thing is to say it's just another game, but for teams like us, I don't think they ever are. I think you've got to look at this as really good measuring sticks for where you're at."
Maurice also said that defenseman Niclas Wallin, who has been skating with the team recently, won't be back until the New Year's Eve game on Wednesday vs. Atlanta at the earliest.