Canes Archive

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Sloppy end to the Hurricanes home schedule

canesReality smacked the Carolina Hurricanes square in the face on Thursday, as the team faced its first game after being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. It also happened to be the team’s home finale.

The visiting Washington Capitals got the better of the two divisional foes with a 5-2 win.

“It wasn’t a good game overall,” Canes coach coach Kirk Muller said. “To me, it looked like two teams that pretty much, in the last few days, were mathematically out of the playoffs It looked like a sloppy game, and I don’t think it was a good hockey game by either team. But for our last game at home, we were hoping for more.”

Captain Eric Staal said the team’s effort wasn’t clearly not good enough. “We had breakdowns, and it ended up in our net. It just wasn’t good enough. There’s not much else to say. We need to be better.”

The Hurricanes have two away games left before the season ends. There are sure to be some big changes before next season.

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Hurricanes now an amazing 20-3-4 when scoring first

Jiri Tlusty.

Jiri Tlusty.

Jiri Tlusty scored twice for Carolina, including a goal midway through the first period, to lead the Hurricanes to a 3-0 victory at Florida.

The Hurricanes, who are now eight points out of the second of two Eastern Conference wild-card spots for the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 10 games remaining, are now 20-3-4 when scoring first.

Goalie Anton Khudobin made 35 saves for his third career shutout, first this season. Carolina completed a three-game season sweep of Florida, and Khudobin was in net for all three games.

Jeff Skinner had the other goal for the Canes.

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Canes come from behind in third period to move above .500

Alexander Semin.

Alexander Semin.

In one of the most exciting home games of the year, the Carolina Hurricanes came from behind to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 4-2. Alexander Semin and Jiri Tlusty scored third-period goals to give the Hurricanes the win at PNC Arena on Thursday.

Carolina goalie Cam Ward made 21 saves for the Hurricanes for his eighth win of the season. The win moved the Canes above .500 at 29-28-9.

For more on the game, please click here.

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Hurricanes sideline reporter speaks at Raleigh Sports Club

Chantel McCabe.

Chantel McCabe.

Carolina Hurricanes sideline reporter Chantel McCabe will be the luncheon speaker at the Raleigh Sports Club meeting Wednesday, March 12. She will discuss the Hurricanes in general, recent roster moves and playoff projections.

The RSC will honor Hunter Kuehn, Sanderson basketball player, as the student athlete of the week for outstanding achievement in the classroom, community and on the field.

Meetings are held in Bradley Hall in Highland UMC, 1901 Ridge Road at the intersection of Lake Boone Trail, just inside the Raleigh Beltline. Buffet lines open at 11:30 a.m. and the meeting starts at 12 noon. See http://www.raleighsportsclub.org/ for details.

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Hurricanes deal Ruutu to New Jersey for young center, conditional pick

Andrei Loktionov.

Andrei Loktionov.

The Carolina Hurricanes today announced that the team has acquired center Andrei Loktionov (ahn-DRAY lawk-too-OH-nawf) and a conditional draft pick from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Tuomo Ruutu.

“Andrei is a young, skilled forward who will play on our power play,” said Jim Rutherford, Canes President and General Manager. “Tuomo was a good player for the Hurricanes and we thank him for his contributions to our organization over the past seven years.”

Loktionov, 23, has totaled four goals and eight assists (12 points) in 48 games with New Jersey during his first full NHL season.

The Hurricanes save a huge amount of cap hit (up to $4 million) while acquiring a younger player who fits the team while also tacking on an above-median draft pick as well.

Loktionov, a Voskresensk, Russia native, made his NHL debut for Los Angeles during the 2009-10 season before suffering a shoulder injury. He returned to action the following year, and was a member of the Kings’ Stanley Cup Championship team in 2011-12. Los Angeles’ seventh pick, 123rd overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Loktionov (5’10”, 180 lbs.) has totaled 38 points (19g, 19a) and 20 penalty minutes in 135 career games with Los Angeles and New Jersey. His career statistics are below.

The Hurricanes return to Raleigh today and host the New York Rangers at PNC Arena on Friday (7 p.m., SportSouth, Hurricanes Radio Network).

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Hurricanes recall goaltender Cam Ward

Cam Ward.

Cam Ward.

The Carolina Hurricanes today announced that the team has recalled goaltender Cam Ward from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Ward, 29, was 1-1 with a 2.02 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in two AHL games for the Checkers during his conditioning stint. The Saskatoon, Sask., native has missed the Hurricanes’ last 14 games due to a lower-body injury and the conditioning assignment. Prior to the injury, Ward (6’1”, 185 lbs.) had posted a 6-7-5 record, a 3.15 goals-against average and an .895 save percentage in 19 games with Carolina this season. He is the Hurricanes franchise’s all-time leader in games played by a goaltender (450), wins (220) and shutouts (21). The Hurricanes drafted Ward in the first round, 25th overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

The Hurricanes host the Winnipeg Jets at PNC Arena on Tuesday at 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Carolinas, Hurricanes Radio Network) in the second game of a four-game home stand.

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Hurricanes get complete game win over tough St. Louis Blues

Jeff Skinner.

Jeff Skinner.

The Carolina Hurricanes may very well have played their best, most complete game of the year in a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues Friday night in a game with a playoff atmosphere.

The Blues, which has the best record of a western conference team against the east teams, fell behind early as the Canes’ Nathan Gerbe scored four minutes in but managed to tie it on a power play goal.

In the second period, the Hurricanes’ Jeff Skinner scored after a face off in front of the Blues net to put the home team up 2-1.

Late in the third period, the Canes’ Alexander Semin wrapped it up with a contested empty net goal.

“We knew we had to come out strong against them but we carried it all the way through 60 minutes,” Skinner said. “It’s a big win but we want to focus on the next game, keep picking up points.”

The win, which kicks off a four-game home stand, puts the Hurricanes at 59 points, four behind the second-place New York Rangers. The Hurricanes are now 11-4 since Dec. 31.

Goalie Anton Khudobin, subbing for injured Cam Ward, improved to 12-4 with 26 saves against the second-highest scoring team in the NHL.

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Streaking Hurricanes rally for biggest win of the season

Eric Staal.

Eric Staal.

The Carolina Hurricanes completed perhaps their biggest win of the season so far on Monday night when they overcame a 2-0 deficit in the third period with a furious rally to win 3-2. The victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets moved the Canes into third place in the Metropolitan Division.

With less than nine minutes left in the game, Captain Eric Staal scored between the legs of the goaltender to cut the Blue Jackets’ lead in half. Just a minute later, Staal, camped in front of the goal, tied the score on a nifty assist by Jiri Tlusty from behind the net.

The rally culminated with Jordan Stahl’s forehand goal as he was falling to the ice to give the Canes a 3-2 lead with 5:55 to go.

The Hurricanes’ Anton Khudobin made a couple of strong saves over the last five minutes to wrap up the Canes fourth win in a row.

“We were down two but kept battling,” Eric Staal said. “We knew if we got one we’d be right back in the game. We were fortunate enough to get a couple more after that and win a big one in regulation.”

The Hurricanes, who have won 10 of their last 13 games, are only two points behind the Rangers for second place.

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Hurricane’s Skinner named NHL First Star of the Week

Jeff Skinner.

Jeff Skinner.

The National Hockey League announced Monday that Hurricanes winger Jeff Skinner has been named the league’s First Star for the week ending Jan. 5. It marks the second time Skinner has earned the honor in less than a month, as he was also named First Star for the week ending Dec. 8.

Skinner, 21, scored six goals and earned three assists (9 points) in four games as Carolina earned victories against the Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals, New York Islanders and Nashville Predators. The Markham, Ont, native had two goals and an assist as the Hurricanes came from three goals down in the third period to beat the Canadiens on New Year’s Eve. Skinner followed that up with his second hat trick of the season, including the overtime, game-winning goal at Washington on Thursday.

After earning the primary assist on Brett Sutter’s game-winner against the Islanders Saturday, Skinner had his third multi-point effort with the game-winning goal and an assist against Nashville on Sunday night. Skinner leads Carolina and ranks tied for ninth in the NHL in goals (20) and game-winning goals (4) this season despite missing 11 games due to injury.

Selected by the Hurricanes in the first round, seventh overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Skinner (5’11”, 200 lbs.) has totaled 84 goals and 80 assists (164 points) in 220 career NHL games. He appeared in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, and won the Calder Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year in 2010-11.

The Hurricanes travel to Buffalo today and will take on the Sabres on Tuesday at 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Carolinas, Hurricanes Radio Network). The team returns home after the game, and hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs at PNC Arena on Thursday.

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Hurricanes are on a roll to start the new year

canesstreakEven without captain Eric Staal, the Carolina Hurricanes keep rolling, winning their fourth straight game by topping the Nashville Predators 2-1.

Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner tallied for Carolina, and Anton Khudobin made 31 saves for his third win in as many starts.

“I thought we did a pretty solid job all game … being responsible defensively and getting pucks in when we needed to,” Skinner said. “It was nice to get one there and have that hard work pay off for us.”

Skinner scored the game-winning goal with just 3:31 remaining in regulation, as he fired one five-hole after Semin and Tuomo Ruutu worked the puck out from behind the net. Skinner has only played in 32 games this season, but he already has a team-leading 20 goals and is second in team scoring with 33 points (20g, 13a).

The difference continues to be his knack of scoring big goals when the team needs them the most.

“He keeps on ticking. I’m really happy for him, and I’m very happy for our hockey team. He’s scoring, and he’s scoring clutch goals. That’s the difference,” head coach Kirk Muller said. “The guys that we needed to score tonight in a grinding-type game … came through for us.”

- Carolina Hurricanes news release