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Tlusty a game-time decision for Hurricanes

by Adam Kimelman

HURRICANES (8-17-3) at FLYERS (10-13-5)


PHILADELPHIA -- Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said his lineup Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers is a game-time decision based around the status of forward Jiri Tlusty.

Tlusty sustained an upper-body injury in the Hurricanes' 2-1 loss Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"He'll warm up and we'll know after that," Peters said. "We'll go 11 [forwards] and seven [defensemen] if he can't go. We'll know as soon as warm-ups are done. He'll be honest with us. We'll put our best lineup out there and go from there. ... He's an offensive guy who plays on our power-play unit. He'll cause us to shuffle the deck but we're prepared to do that if we have to."

Losing Tlusty would further deplete a lineup that has scored one goal in four straight games. Also, the Hurricanes' power play is 0-for-14 in its past five games. But Peters is staying positive; while the Hurricanes have lost four straight, three of them were one-goal games, and the fourth was a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

"I thought we've played some good hockey in this stretch here," Peters said. "One or two here or there on the power play makes a huge difference. Power play has had some good end-zone time. We have to get the goal on the power play and then we have to bear down around the net and be strong on our sticks on seconds [chances] and thirds.

"We have to have [net-front presence]. We've talked about it a lot. It's gotten better. We have to have a better net presence on the power play and 5-on-5."

Anton Khudobin will start in goal for the Hurricanes. He's is 4-1-0 with a 2.54 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in five career games against Philadelphia, including a 3-0 record against them last season. Cam Ward had started the previous three games.

Whoever is in net, Peters said it's imperative the team provides him some support.

"Our goaltending has been very good since we started playing better in November and December," Peters said. "It's run support for those guys. We have to be able to score to win in this League. If you're only going to get one a night you're saying you got to get a shutout and that's unrealistic each and every night. You're going to have a few throughout the course of the year. But we need to score goals no matter who's in net for us."

The Flyers likely will use the same lineup that beat the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on Thursday. The only change could be Steve Mason returning in net. In eight games against the Hurricanes, Mason is 5-2-1 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. However, Emery is 5-0-0 with a 0.74 GAA, .977 save percentage and two shutouts in five games.

Here are the projected lineups:


Jeff Skinner - Eric Staal - Jiri Tlusty

Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm

Chris Terry - Victor Rask - Zach Boychuk

Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk

Jay Harrison - John-Michael Liles

Ron Hainsey - Michal Jordan

Anton Khudobin

Cam Ward

Scratched: Tim Gleason, Brett Bellemore

Injured: Jordan Staal (leg), Alexander Semin (upper body), Andrej Nestrasil (upper body)


Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Brayden Schenn - Scott Laughton - Wayne Simmonds

R.J. Umberger - Sean Couturier - Matt Read

Zac Rinaldo - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Chris VandeVelde

Nicklas Grossmann - Mark Streit

Nick Schultz - Braydon Coburn

Andrew MacDonald - Luke Schenn

Steve Mason

Ray Emery

Scratched: Michael Del Zotto, Carlo Colaiacovo

Injured: Kimmo Timonen (blood clots), Ryan White (chest), Vincent Lecavalier (lower body)

Status report: If Tlusty can't play it's likely Gleason will be the seventh defenseman. He was a minus-1 in 18:19 of ice time Thursday against the Lightning. ... The Flyers announced Friday that Lecavalier had tweaked a lower-body injury. He had been a healthy scratch the past five games.

Who's hot: Couturier has two goals and four assists during his five-game point streak. His longest streak is six games in his rookie season, Jan. 8-19, 2012. ... Ward has allowed two goals or fewer in five of his past six games.


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