(SportsNetwork.com) – It has been the tale of two months so far for the
Carolina Hurricanes, and the club hopes to continue its November surge when it
welcomes the Winnipeg Jets for Thursday’s clash at PNC Arena.
The Hurricanes went winless (0-6-2) in October, but have yet to lose in
regulation this month, posting a 5-0-1 mark since the calendar flipped to
November. The hot stretch has lifted Carolina out of last place in the
Metropolitan Division, where Columbus is currently in the basement and four
points behind the ‘Canes.
After having a four-game winning streak snapped in Saturday’s overtime loss at
Washington, the Hurricanes rebounded with Monday’s 4-1 home win over Calgary.
Justin Faulk tallied the game-winning goal early in the second period and
added two assists to lead Carolina past the Flames.
Jeff Skinner supplied a goal and an assist and Zach Boychuk and Tim Gleason
both scored for the Hurricanes.
Cam Ward turned aside 22 shots to win his fifth straight start. Ward, who owns
a 22-11-4 record in his career against the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise, expects
to start again tonight.
“It’s huge whenever you have a goalie playing well,” Faulk said of Ward. “When
things do break down, he’s there to make the save when we need it most.”
Carolina has won four straight on home ice and is capping a brief two-game
stay in Raleigh tonight. The ‘Canes are 4-1-1 at PNC Arena this season.
Winnipeg hopes to get back in the win column Thursday after getting handed a
3-0 loss Tuesday in Montreal. It was the second loss in three games for the
Jets after beginning November with three straight wins and the setback also
snapped Winnipeg’s point streak at eight games (6-0-2).
The Jets fired 29 shots at Carey Price, but the Canadiens stopped every one to
record his first shutout of the season. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 24-of-26 shots
in the loss.
“We didn’t get enough pucks to the net early, and I don’t mean (early) in the
game. I mean early in our chances, early in our decisions to get it to the
net,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “We passed off probably too much and then
it got knocked down or blocked.”
Maurice, of course, coached the Hurricanes during two separate stints from
1997-2004 and again from 2008-12. He led Carolina to the Stanley Cup Finals in
2002, when they lost to the Detroit Red Wings.
The Jets are playing the third part of a five-game road trip tonight. They are
5-3-1 as the visiting team this season.
Winnipeg posted a 3-1 home win over the Hurricanes on Oct. 21, with Pavelec
stopping 21-of-22 shots for the victory. Pavelec is 8-7-2 with a 3.33 goals
against average in his career against Carolina.
The Jets have won three of four and six of the last eight meetings versus the
‘Canes. Winnipeg also has claimed four straight and six of the past seven
encounters in North Carolina.