Tuesday night, the Boston Bruins travel to Raleigh to take on the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes currently sit one point behind the Atlanta Thrashers for a playoff spot, and the 'Canes are known for their second half surges. Boston is currently third in the Eastern Conference, leading the Montreal Canadiens by four points in the division.
The Bruins have beat the Hurricanes twice and lost once in 2010-11, with both wins coming two weeks ago in the home-and-home series. But the first game against Carolina may want to be forgotten by Bruins fans, with the B's being shut down by Cam Ward, 3-0.
Game two saw a blowout, with the Zdeno Chara hat trick in the first of the back-to-backs. The third matchup saw the Bruins eek out a win, 3-2. In the two Boston wins, Carolina managed to get just two of their 76 shots by goalie Tim Thomas.
The Hurricanes have 56 points on the season while the Bruins have 63. The Bruins have the better record, at 28-15-7, while Carolina is 25-19-6.
The Hurricanes are only one game better at home than the Bruins, 13-8-3. But on the road, the Bruins are 15-6-4, good for third in the east behind the Rangers and Flyers.
Carolina struggles with Eastern Conference games, at just 16-15 4. Meanwhile, the Bruins have soared with a 26-11-5.
Boston scores slightly more a game, at 3.02 goals per game and the Hurricanes at 2.98. The Bruins lead the league in goals against, at 2.14 average, while the 'Canes are 3.02. However, the Hurricanes have a better power play than the Bruins, at 18.2% and the Bruins 17.5%. While we are on special teams, the Bruins have the clear advantage on the penalty kill, at 85% while the Hurricanes sit at 78.9%.
Patrick Dwyer of the Carolina Hurricanes is questionable with an other-excused reason. For the Bruins, the only expected injury is Marc Savard who is out with a concussion. Nathan Horton left practice early yesterday with a stinger above his knee, but is expected to play this game.
The players to watch for the Bruins are Tim Thomas, Chara, and Tyler Seguin after the All-Star Game. How are they affected? Do they come out sluggish? For the Hurricanes, Jamie McBain, Eric Staal, Cam Ward and Jeff Skinner, the Carolina All-Stars. Especially interested to see Thomas and Ward, and see how well they play against each other in the real games.
Patrice Bergeron-Brad Marchand-Mark Recchi
Tyler Seguin-Blake Wheeler-Michael Ryder
David Krejci-Nathan Horton-Milan Lucic
Greg Campbell-Shawn Thornton-Daniel Paille
Adam McQuaid-Andrew Ference
Zdeno Chara-Steve Kampfer
Dennis Seidenberg-Johnny Boychuck
Sergei Samesonov-Erik Cole-Eric Staal
Chad LaRose-Tuomo Ruutu-Jeff Skinner
Jussi Jokinen-Brandon Sutter-Pat Dwyer
Troy Bodie-Ryan Carter-Jiri Tlusty
Jamie McBain-Joni Pitkanen
Tim Gleason-Joe Corvo
Jay Harrison-Ian White