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Hurricanes coach Muller: 'We've got to win'

by Kurt Dusterberg

RALEIGH, N.C. -- One day after Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said he's been working the phones in pursuit of a trade, the Hurricanes had a quiet morning skate in preparation for their game Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens.

Carolina has won just one of its previous nine games (1-4-4). Rutherford also met with coach Kirk Muller on Monday.

"I had a good chat with him yesterday. Everything was good," Muller said. "We've got to win. I'm comfortable with it. That's what we're in this game for. Our better players have to play better. They know that. That gives us a better chance to win, like any hockey club. But there's more positives around here than negatives."

Hurricanes captain Eric Staal has 30 points through 39 games, but he is a minus-17 after a minus-four performance in a 5-2 loss to Toronto on Sunday.

"Bottom line is we've got to be better," Staal said. "We expect better with the group we have in here. The results just haven't been here. We've been close, but close isn't good enough in this League."

Montreal coach Michel Therrien is contemplating a lineup change against the Hurricanes, one that might keep Daniel Briere in the press box. Briere, who has been held without a point the past 10 games, remained on the ice at the end of the morning skate.

"It's not 100 percent sure, but we're thinking to bring [Michael] Bournival back in the lineup," Therrien said. "He's a young kid and we don't want to have young kids not playing for a long period of time. So it's going to be a game-time decision."

Bournival skated on a line with Ryan White and Travis Moen. Therrien indicated he would discuss Briere's situation after the game if he were to be scratched.

Here are the projected lineups for the game between Montreal and Carolina:


Rene Bourque - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher

Alex Galchenyuk - Lars Eller - Brandon Prust

Michael Bournival- Ryan White - Travis Moen

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Andrei Markov - Alexei Emelin

Francis Bouillon - Raphael Diaz

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Douglas Murray

Injured: George Parros (concussion)


Jeff Skinner - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin

Nathan Gerbe - Jordan Staal - Patrick Dwyer

Drayson Bowman - Riley Nash - Tuomo Ruutu

Zach Boychuk - Manny Malhotra - Radek Dvorak

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk

Ron Hainsey - Brett Bellemore

Mike Komisarek - Tim Gleason

Cam Ward

Justin Peters

Scratched: Ryan Murphy

Injured: Jiri Tlusty (appendectomy), Jay Harrison (concussion)

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