(SportsNetwork.com) – The Carolina Hurricanes are finally starting to get
healthy and hope that can lead them to their first victory of the season on
Tuesday night as they visit the Winnipeg Jets.
The Hurricanes are winless through their first four games of the season and
have posted back-to-back shootout losses following a pair of setbacks to the
New York Islanders to open the schedule.
Carolina has not gone five straight games without a win to open the season
since 2003-04, when the club posted two losses and three ties. The 1987-88
Hartford Whalers marked the last time the franchise opened a season 0-5.
Carolina, though, is expected to have forward Jeff Skinner in the lineup for
the first time this season as he returns from a concussion suffered on Oct. 5
in the preseason finale.
The 2011 Calder Trophy winner collected a career-high 33 goals along with 54
points in 71 games last year, his fourth in the NHL.
“I feel good. It’s been nice for me to have a few practices under my belt.
We’ve had a couple real good days out here, and that’s been good for my
confidence,” Skinner said on Carolina’s website. “I’m ready to get going”
Defenseman Andrej Sekera (upper body) and John-Michael Liles (undisclosed)
could also return to the ice tonight, while forward Eric Staal, who has missed
the past two with an upper-body injury, is expected to travel with Carolina
for the rest of its road trip.
The Hurricanes began a five-game swing with a 2-1 shootout loss to the New
York Rangers last Thursday and play their next four in Western Canada.
Forward Chris Terry has stepped up for the shorthanded Hurricanes, scoring
three goals in four games. He had the lone tally versus the Rangers, while
Anton Khudobin made 33 saves.
“The effort was good,” said Hurricanes first-year head coach Bill Peters.
“These guys work and compete. Can’t question that.”
Khudobin lost his only career start versus the Jets, but gave up only two
goals on 27 shots faced. Cam Ward is 22-11-4 with a 2.96 goals against average
and .902 save percentage versus the Jets and it is unknown which goaltender
will start tonight.
The Jets come in having lost four straight in regulation since a season-
opening 6-2 win at Arizona. They have scored just two goals over the losing
streak while giving up 13.
Winnipeg saw Calgary score three times in the second period on Sunday en route
to a 4-1 setback. Mark Scheifele had the goal and Ondrej Pavelec made 25
“In that second period you have to find that confidence to stay up and stay
aggressive,” Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice said.
Maurice will face the Hurricanes for the first time since his second stint as
the club’s head coach came to an end on Nov. 28, 2011. He first joined the
franchise as head coach of the Whalers in 1995-96 before getting fired midway
through the 2003-04 campaign, and was again hired as the club’s head coach on
Dec. 2, 2008.
Winnipeg will play the third contest of a five-game homestand hoping to avoid
losing five straight in regulation for the first time since Jan. 2-11.
Pavelec is 7-7-2 with a 3.47 GAA and .890 save percentage in 17 previous
starts versus the Hurricanes.
The Jets have won five of the last seven meetings between these two clubs,
though the ‘Canes have taken a victory in three of their last four trips to