Scouting the Enemy: Carolina Hurricanes

 

Record: 43-28-7

Leading scorers: Ray Whitney (24G, 47A), Eric Staal (35G, 34A)

Blogs: Canes Country

Few teams in the East are as hot as the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Carolina may be that exception.

The Canes picked up their seventh straight 'W' the other night in a 4-2 win over the Rangers thanks in part to Cam Ward's solid goaltending (36 saves) and an efficient offense that chose shot quality over shot quantity to beat Henrik Lundqvist.

In the span of a month Carolina's playoffs hopes have gone from slim to prime.  As Seth points out on Empty Netters, the Canes and Pens are tied for best record and win percentage since March (11-1-2, .857). 

Carolina's 93 points in the East guarantees a playoff berth, its first in two seasons.  Now instead of worrying about making the cut the Canes will instead focus on whether or not they can lock up home ice for the postseason. 

Expect Ward in net again for the Canes tonight.  It's no surprise his recent win streak warranted the NHL's third star of the week - a week where he allowed only four goals in three games.

Not only is Pitt looking to secure a playoff berth of their own with a win tonight, but they are also prime candidates in breaking Carolina's 10-game streak at home.  The Pens are 1-0 at the RBC Center this season and hold the series lead at 2-1.

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