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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Samson's first career goal can't save Canes

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 7:04 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—Jussi Jokinen fished the puck out of the net. With a flick of Jerome Samson’s wrist, the two-dollar disk had instantly become the most valuable object in the rink. Stepping over vanquished Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, Jokinen delivered the puck to Samson who, called up from the Charlotte Checkers Monday night, had just scored his first NHL goal. Photo by Peggy BooneCam Ward's 35 saves weren't enough Tuesday as the Canes lost to Philadelphia, 2-1.Samson’s icebreaker was the only one by the Carolina Hurricanes in a 2-1 loss to the visiting Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, but it turned...

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's capitulations: Canes succumb to Isles

Posted By on Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 5:14 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—When you hang a fresh January on the kitchen wall and toss the old calendar in the trash, you hope that the forgettable parts of the old year somehow go in the landfill too. But in their 2012 debut, the Carolina Hurricanes look agonizingly the same as they did in 2011. Giving up leads instead of building on them. Hoping the other team won’t score rather than ensuring it. And losing. Photo by Al DragoChad LaRose's late third-period goal gave the Canes hope, but he couldn't save them in the shootout as Carolina fell to the Islanders 4-3...

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Overtime is Staal's time

Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 9:39 PM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—A month ago, the Canes would have folded. But in the last home game of the year, they didn't. And the captain led the way. Photo by Al DragoEric Staal, seen here earlier this season against Ottawa, scored twice and added an assist to lead the Canes over Toronto in the last home game of a largely forgettable 2011.Undaunted by two early third-period goals by the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Hurricanes stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to push the game to overtime. Eric Staal scored a goal and created another for Zac Dalpe before firing in the...

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pens' onslaught sinks Canes

Posted By on Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 8:29 AM

FSN SOUTH (TV)—Justin Peters has some new bruises. Photo by Al DragoChad LaRose's second borderline penalty of the night let the Penguins break through Justin Peters' desperation goaltending in the third period of a 4-2 Pittsburgh win.In his first start of the season in net, Peters faced 52 shots from the Pittsburgh Penguins, holding them to just one goal through two tied periods. But the game is three periods long, and the Penguins broke it open early in the final frame to push their win streak to four games before a sellout crowd in the Steel City, 4-2. Carolina, which...

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Canes enjoy a holiday win over Senators

Posted By on Sat, Dec 24, 2011 at 11:01 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—Cam Ward was talking, but you couldn’t hear what he was saying. Photo by Al DragoGOOOOOOAL! Carolina deserved this celebration after a 2-1 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators on Christmas Eve Eve.“Get your ice cold beer! Peanuts! We got your hot dogs here!” A sonorous voice boomed up the locker room hallway. A teammate hollering a busker’s patter just to enjoy its echo off the painted cinderblock walls. “Clearly, the guys are excited,” deadpanned the unflappable goalie. The Hurricanes gave themselves an early Christmas present Friday night, topping the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on an overtime goal from...

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Coyotes dumpster-dive for 4-3 win over Canes

Posted By on Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—In the past, packs of coyotes hunted the American prairie, swarming their prey. Today, they have adapted to scavenge off the humans who’ve encroached upon their habitat, rummaging dumpsters for suburban food scraps to survive. It’s a lot easier to pick a chicken carcass out of the trash than it is to bring down a deer. Courtesy Greg Carter and CBCThe Phoenix Coyotes rummaged through the Canes for a 4-3 win in Raleigh.The Phoenix Coyotes were much like their namesakes on Wednesday night, feasting upon mistakes, turnovers, and dispassionate play by the home squad to turn a 3-1...

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Canes return home with a bang

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 6:38 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—Cam Ward didn't just take a goal away from Keith Ballard. He took a piece of his soul. With just over six minutes remaining in the Hurricanes' 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks, Ward flung his glove across the gaping net to snare Ballard's point-blank shot. And he rolled on top of the rebound chance for good measure. File photo by Rob RoweCam Ward's save on Keith Ballard to preserve a 4-3 win over Vancouver was something to see."I needed his help," Ward shrugged afterward, crediting Ballard while standing in the locker room din of a team that...

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Canes put "Pillowcase" in the wash

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Tomas Kaberle, we hardly knew ye. And even yet, we knew ye too much. Photo by D.L. AndersonThe holiday wishes of Canes fans have been granted. Tomas Kaberle is no longer on the team.The Carolina Hurricanes unloaded the pile of laundry on skates that is Tomas Kaberle on Friday, shipping him off to Montreal in exchange for 37-year-old defender Jaroslav Spacek. Signed to a three-year, $12.75 million deal over the summer, Kaberle lasted just 29 games with the Canes, assisting on nine goals and scoring zero. But the Canes won't even mind if the door hits him on the way...

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

NHL realignment: what it means for Carolina

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Goodbye, Panthers and Lightning. Hello, Penguins and Flyers. The Carolina Hurricanes will have different division rivals as early as next season. The National Hockey League's Board of Governors ratified a realignment plan on Tuesday at their annual meeting in Pebble Beach, CA that both acknowledges the past and looks to the future. Twenty-six of the league's 30 owners okayed a four-conference configuration of teams that corrects for geographical oddities that team relocations and league expansion have caused over the years. Image courtesy CBCIn a proposed realignment of the NHL, the Canes would tussle with new rivals six times a year.The...

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Penguins push Canes’ losing streak to six

Posted By on Sun, Dec 4, 2011 at 11:57 AM

RBC CENTER (RALEIGH)—The big stars set up the goals. The grinders scored them. And the penalty-killers finished off the last frantic minutes. That’s one of many narratives that a good team can follow to win a hockey game. It is not, however, a chapter that the Carolina Hurricanes can author right now, as they turn the pages of their horror story of a season. Photo by D.L. AndersonAfter two games in the press box, Jamie McBain scored both Canes goals in a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh.Despite two goals by Jamie McBain, who returned to the ice after two games in...

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New coach, old result: Canes lose Muller's debut

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 7:02 AM

RBC CENTER (RALEIGH)—After losing his NHL coaching debut, Kirk Muller was all smiles. But with bloodshot eyes. File photo by Rob RoweCam Ward couldn't deliver a win for coach Kirk Muller's first game. The Florida Panthers prevailed, 3-1."Honestly, I was really pleased," Muller said after his Carolina Hurricanes lost 3-1 to the division-leading Florida Panthers on Tuesday. "We just asked them this morning to bring a good competitive part of your game tonight. We added a couple things, a little change in the system to be a little more aggressive and up ice. So you don't have any time to...

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Monday, November 28, 2011

[Updated] Canes fire Paul Maurice; hire Kirk Muller

Posted By on Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 10:11 AM

"Mo must go," fans chanted last week during another Carolina Hurricanes home loss. Today, Mo went. At the end of a miserable November, the Hurricanes have dismissed coach Paul Maurice. General manager Jim Rutherford has replaced him with ex-Montreal great Kirk Muller. This is Muller's first head coaching job at the National Hockey League level. Muller has been the head coach of the Nashville Predators' AHL affiliate in Milwaukee this season after serving as an assistant coach in Montreal for five years. Credited with architecting the Canadiens' power play that helped oust a powerful Capitals squad from the playoffs two...

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Canes fall in Cole's return

Posted By on Thu, Nov 24, 2011 at 11:50 PM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—A little more than a week ago, the Carolina Hurricanes played one of their worst games in memory, losing 4-0 in Montreal. But after playing three fairly inspired games since then, the Canes were looking forward to exorcising the Canadiens in Raleigh on Thanksgiving Eve. Close, but no cigar. Photo by D.L. AndersonAnthony Stewart's fourth goal of the year gave Carolina an early 2-0 lead over Montreal. They couldn't hold it though.Actually “The Cigar” might be a great nickname for one Erik Cole, who visited Raleigh for the first time as a Montreal player, disorientatingly wearing no. 72....

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Canes mutiny: anticipating changes on and off the ice

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 9:11 AM

The classic road-trip carol "Over the River and Through the Woods" has taken on a new meaning for the Carolina Hurricanes this Thanksgiving. It describes the route they'll have to take to get back to respectability in the National Hockey League. It also might describe where authorities will be looking for coach Paul Maurice next week. Photo by D.L. AndersonCoach Paul Maurice (center) gathers the Canes at a preseason practice? Will someone else be standing at the center of this picture soon?Only the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders have fewer points than the Canes, and the Islanders are...

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Flyers subdue Canes despite Dwyer's two shorties, 5-3

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 9:37 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—The Jeff Skinner bobbleheads arrived late. And so did the Carolina Hurricanes. Photo by D.L. AndersonAre the Canes wearing out Cam Ward? He lasted only halfway through the 5-3 loss to the Flyers on Monday.The Canes fell convincingly to the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-3, on a night when Skinner was honored by a giveaway commemorating his Calder Trophy-winning rookie season last year. But the shipment of figurines didn’t get to the rink until the game was well underway, and had to be distributed to dejected fans filing out after another disappointing loss. Anyone calling Saturday night’s win over Pittsburgh...

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Canes fend off Penguins in gut-check game

Posted By on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 9:54 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—The all-stars finally all looked like all-stars. The coach finally pushed the right buttons. And the Carolina Hurricanes finally played a game worth more than the ticket price. Carolina's newest winger Eric Staal scored his first even-strength goal of the year, Jeff Skinner notched his team-leading seventh goal and set up two others, and Cam Ward was dazzling between the pipes as the Canes knocked off the conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 in Raleigh on Saturday night. Tuomo Ruutu scored twice in the waning minutes of the second period to stake the Canes to a 3-0 lead and, after...

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Canes' losing streak at three after late Devils goal

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 10:30 PM

VERSUS (TV)—After a dead-on-arrival performance against Dallas at home on Sunday afternoon, one would have expected the Carolina Hurricanes to bring the pulse of a hummingbird to their road date in New Jersey on Tuesday. It's still too early to prime the paddles on the Hurricanes' season, but after losing their third straight in New Jersey 3-2 on Tuesday, it's getting there.It was a steady, resting lub-dub instead, as the Devils scored late to hand the Canes their third straight loss, 3-2. Rookie Adam Henrique scooped a wraparound over Cam Ward's pad with just 3:19 left to keep the Canes...

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Lost weekend in Raleigh: Canes dumped twice

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 9:30 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—The Carolina Hurricanes entered a home-ice weekend anxious to see how they stacked up against a pair of first-place opponents. The Hurricanes could only manage Ray Milland's bleary stare after a lost weekend that saw them drop two home games by a cumulative score of 10-3.But after dual thumpings at the hands of the Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars by the total of 10-3, the Canes find themselves staring at a familiar situation—an early-season hole that it would take months of stellar play to climb out of. True, the team’s played only 14 games of the 82-game season....

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Canes' pains: Jokinen out 3-4 weeks

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 10:43 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—When Hurricanes' forward Jussi Jokinen fell on top of Tampa's Ryan Shannon after a face-off Tuesday night, it looked pretty ugly. About a month's worth of ugly, as it turns out. File photo by Peggy BooneJussi Jokinen, seen here against Boston last season, won't return until at least Thanksgiving after a leg injury versus Tampa Bay Tuesday night.One skate trapped beneath Shannon, Jokinen fell onto his back atop him. The "lower-body injury," which may or may not be a hyper-extended knee, is expected to keep him out of the lineup for 3-4 weeks. The versatile Finn, who had...

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lightning succumb to Canes' complete game, 4-2

Posted By on Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 9:45 AM

RBC CENTER—The last time the Tampa Bay Lightning visited, they thumped the Carolina Hurricanes to open the season. Tuesday night, the Canes put that behind them. Behind two goals each from Jeff Skinner and Chad LaRose, and 28 saves by Cam Ward—many on an extended Tampa two-man advantage—the Hurricanes proved the more formidable meteorological phenomenon, 4-2. Photo by D.L. AndersonJay Harrison's one-timer led to the Canes's first goal in a 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.Teddy Purcell countered for the visitors, and Brett Connolly—who was drafted one pick before Jeff Skinner in 2010—scored his first career NHL goal....

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Canes lose way on road, drop back-to-back games

Posted By on Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 8:10 AM

FS SOUTH (TV)—After snuffing the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins in their home rinks, the Canes went into the back half of a four-game road swing flying high. But on back-to-back nights in St. Louis and Winnipeg, Carolina's first visit to the new home of the ex-Atlanta Thrashers, the team was laid low. Photo by D.L. AndersonCanes, meet the drawing board. Carolina needs a reset after blowing two 2-0 leads to close a road trip with losses in St. Louis and Winnipeg.Inconsistent play kept the Canes on the outside of the playoff club last season, and they're swapping Jekyll and...

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Canes handle flustered Bruins again, 4-1

Posted By on Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 7:14 AM

FSN SOUTH (TV)—In a game interrupted throughout by fights, the best play of the night was a refusal to drop the gloves. Photo by D.L. AndersonJoni Pitkanen, seen here at a recent practice, added a rocket-powered slapshot goal to his two assists to bury the Boston Bruins in Beantown Tuesday night, 4-1.Midway through the third period, the home-ice Boston Bruins had just pulled to within a goal and had all the momentum. But Tim Gleason refused to engage an enraged Nathan Horton in a fight, staring at him instead with a mixture of ambivalence and bemusement. Three minutes, several more...

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Canes dump Bruins for first win, 3-2

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 10:07 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—Question: When is the fourth game of an 82-game season a must-win? Answer: When you lost the first three games. The Carolina Hurricanes finally broke through in the win column Wednesday night, assembling their first comprehensive effort of the year. All it took was a nationally televised visit from the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. File photo by Rob RoweTim Gleason, seen here in a game last year against Florida, was the game's number one star for his stalwart play versus the Boston Bruins on Wednedsday.Joni Pitkanen, Anthony Stewart, and Jiri Tlusty each scored their first goal of...

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hurricanes bounce back but fall in OT to Capitals

Posted By on Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 9:26 PM

FSN SOUTH (TV)—The Canes didn't take advantage of their overtime power play. The Capitals, however, capitalized on theirs. Photo by D.L. AndersonGoalie Brian Boucher, seen here at a recent practice, made his Hurricanes debut in a 4-3 overtime loss at Washington.After an embarrassing opening-night loss at home Friday, the Carolina Hurricanes wanted to bounce back in Washington on Saturday, and bounce back they did. Except on the scoreboard, where the Washington Capitals did the Canes one better, 4-3. Eric Staal put a forgettable Friday debut behind him, notching two power play goals and an assist. He was stronger in all...

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Canes take it on the chin in home opener, 5-1

Posted By on Sat, Oct 8, 2011 at 6:39 AM

RBC CENTER, RALEIGH—The Carolina Hurricanes made a lot of changes over the summer. But game No. 1 of this season could have been mistaken for game No. 83 of last season. Photo by D.L. AndersonCam Ward's 29 saves weren't enough Friday as the Tampa Bay Lightning spoiled the Canes' home opener, 5-1.The Tampa Bay Lightning once again were unwelcome guests, dumping the Canes 5-1—the same margin of victory they posted in last season's final game, which kept Carolina out of the playoffs. And as it was so many times last season, the difference was special teams. In a tilt made...

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