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Banged-up Hurricanes visit Avalanche

by Sean McCullen /

HURRICANES (4-3-3) at AVALANCHE (8-1-0)


Season series: This is the first of two meetings between the Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche. They will play again Nov. 9 at PNC Arena. The teams have not met since Feb. 10, 2012, when the Avalanche won 4-3 in overtime.

Big story: It's been a tale of two seasons for Carolina and Colorado in goal. The Hurricanes have been bit hard by the injury bug; the Avalanche have received solid play from both of their goalies.

Cam Ward left Carolina's game against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday with a lower-body injury and will miss three to four weeks. Regular backup Anton Khudobin has been out with a lower-body injury since Oct. 13.

Justin Peters took over for Ward against the Wild. It was Peters' first NHL game since April and his first since he was called up from Charlotte of the American Hockey League on Oct. 14.

Colorado has received solid goaltending from Semyon Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere. The Avalanche are allowing an NHL-low 1.33 goals per game. Giguere has two shutouts in three starts, and Varlamov has a .950 save percentage and a 1.68 goals-against average.

Team Scope:

Hurricanes: Carolina will play its second game in as many nights. The Hurricanes lost 3-1 at Minnesota on Thursday and are now 2-1-0 on a four-game road trip. But losing their starting goaltender was more painful than dropping two points.

"Don't like to see that with anybody," defenseman Justin Faulk said. "But we trust [Peters] too. We're confident in any goalie we put in there."

The Wild scored on their first two shots on Peters, who settled in to stop the next 19 shots he faced. Peters is likely to start against Colorado, with rookie Mike Murphy backing him up. Murphy was recalled from Charlotte to join the team in Denver.

Avalanche: Colorado beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 on Monday in a battle of two of the League's top teams. Giguere made 34 saves for his second shutout.

The key to the victory, according to coach Patrick Roy, was Colorado's penalty kill, which was 7-for-7. Giguere made several big saves to help stifle the Penguins' power play.

"It's not very often we're going to win in Pittsburgh [when] they had seven power plays. They are probably one of the best in the League, and they were moving the puck really well," Roy said. "Your goalie needs to be your best player in every situation, and [Giguere] was our best player."

The Avalanche suffered their only loss in their last home game when they were beaten 4-2 by the Detroit Red Wings.

Who's hot: Alexander Semin has three points in the past two games and scored the Hurricanes' only goal at Minnesota following a two-assist game against the New York Islanders on Saturday. … Gabriel Landeskog scored the only goal in Colorado's 1-0 win at Pittsburgh. The Calder Trophy winner in 2012 has goals in three straight games.

Injury report: In addition to Ward and Khudobin, the Hurricanes are without forward Jeff Skinner, who sustained an upper-body injury in Minnesota. Defenseman Tim Gleason (concussion) and forwards Pat Dwyer (upper body) and Elias Lindholm (shoulder) are day-to-day. … Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson (bruised foot) is day-to-day. He was held out of practice Thursday after sustaining the injury blocking a shot in practice Wednesday. Colorado will also be without forward Cody McLeod, who was suspended five games Monday for an illegal hit Oct. 17 on Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall.

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