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Canes Blog: Canes Country
It's the final countdown...
The Wings have clinched their 23rd straight playoff appearance despite many people ready to write them off mid way through the season.
They don't *have* to win this game, but they should do it anyway. We're in a battle with Columbus for 7th or 8th place, and why not get on a good roll to wrap up the regular season and head into the playoffs with some good momentum and confidence. Speaking of confidence, Jimmy gets the start so he can get nice and warmed up for the playoffs. Jared Coreau was called up to to back up Howard in case Gustavsson isn't able to because he possibly has an undisclosed injury. Petr Mrazek was originally announced as the call up, but he was already in Charlotte to play the Checkers last night. Hopefully we won't need to use the back up anyway.
The Canes lost 5-2 to Washington last night, their only goals coming from Jiri Tlusty shorthanded and Radek Dvorak at even strength. They're a team far out of the playoffs and last night they just seemed to want the season to be over. They may play like a defeated team who's ready to be done, or they may get up to play the Wings. Either way, doesn't matter, Wings just need to win.
The Expected Lineup
|Johan Franzen||Pavel Datsyuk||Justin Abdelkader|
|Tomas Tatar||Riley Sheahan||Gustav Nyquist|
|Tomas Jurco||Darren Helm||Daniel Alfredsson|
|Drew Miller||David Legwand||Luke Glendening|
|Niklas Kronwall||Brendan Smith|
|Kyle Quincey||Danny DeKeyser|
|Brian Lashoff||Jakub Kindl|
|Jimmy Howard (starting)|
|HURRICANES||THE MATCH-UP||RED WINGS|
|34-35-11 (79 pts; 7th in Metro)||Record||38-27-15 (91 pts; 2nd in WC race)|
|2.48 (22nd in NHL)||Goals Per Game||2.66 (15th in NHL)|
|2.75 (18th)||Goals Against Per Game||2.74 (16th)|
|14.2% (29th)||Power Play %||17.8% (16th)|
|82.3% (13th)||Penalty Kill %||83.1% (11th)|
|Jeff Skinner (31 goals)||Goal Leader||Gustav Nyquist (28 goals)|
|Eric Staal (58 points)||Points Leader||Alfredsson & Kronwall (49)|
Player to Fear: Jeff Skinner
X-Factor: Cam Ward if he plays. Otherwise I have a funny feeling about Jiri Tlusty
Familiar Faces: None
Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Carolina): Wings fans in NC!! (except Nick.. just kidding. Hi Nick)
Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Carolina): Ric Flair goal celebration.
Bullets of Knowledge
- Last 10 games: Carolina 4-4-2. Detroit 5-3-2.
- Howard is 2-1-0 with a 1.98 GAA, .937 SV% in 3 career appearances against Carolina.
Prediction: Wings rock Carolina like a hurricane.