Jeff Skinner leads the Canes in scoring. (jtbourne.com)

Game Notes: Carolina Hurricanes at Boston Bruins

The Bruins and Hurricanes face off tonight at TD Garden. (loge19.wordpress.com)

For the second time in a little less than a week, the Boston Bruins (2-3-0) will face the Carolina Hurricanes (2-3-1). The two played last Wednesday in Raleigh, with the Hurricanes earning a 3-2 win behind a 28-save performance from Cam Ward. Tonight’s game is the second of four meeting between the two teams.

Game Notes

  • Of course, the biggest connection between the teams is the fact they basically swapped “puck-moving” defensemen over the summer. Tomas Kaberle, acquired from Toronto near the trading deadline, signed a free agent deal with Carolina, while the Bruins acquired Joe Corvo via a trade.
  • This is the first of a four-game homestand with the Bruins, which includes visits from a number of former Bruins: Kaberle tonight, the red-hot Phil Kessel and the Maple Leafs on Thursday, Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, and Hal Gill and the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, October 27. The B’s play 13 of their first 17 games at TD Garden.
  • Tyler Seguin is just one teenager leading his team right now. While Seguin, 19, leads the B’s in scoring (1-4-5), fellow 19-year-old Jeff Skinner comes into tonight leading the

    Hurricanes with 2-4-6 totals. The third teen is Edmonton rookie Ryan Hugent-Hopkins (4-1-5).

  • The Bruins have gone scoreless on the power play in 19 consecutive attempts and are just 1-for-20 on the season. This is nothing new for the Bruins, who struggled in the 2011 playoffs and had a drought of 21 power plays from Feb. 22 to March 11 of last season.
  • A few rays of hope on the Bruins’ injury front, as defensemen Adam McQuaid (headaches, neck pain) and Steven Kampfer (knee) returned to practice yesterday, and center David Krejci (core) skated on his own. Krejci is doubtful for tonight’s game. McQuaid is a game-time decision, and Kampfer has yet to be cleared for contact. Claude Julien did say he liked what he saw from Kampfer in limited ice at practice.
  • As of noon, there was no word on who might start in goal tonight for the Bruins, but it likely to be Tuukka Rask, who has not played since a 1-0 loss to Colorado on Columbus Day. Ironman Cam Ward, who has played in 4 of Carolina’s 5 games, is likely to be in goal for the Canes. Backup Brian Boucher, who has not played since October 8, has not had the best of track records against Boston in his career. Ward has struggled a bit in the early going, posting a 3.26 GAA and an .899 save percentage.
  • The Hurricanes have struggled late in games, allowing 9 goals in the third period while scoring just 5.  The Bruins, meanwhile, have scored 5 third-period goals while allowing just 3. Of course, two of those goals came in the 3-2 loss to Carolina.
  • Defenseman Tim Gleason is tied for the NHL lead in plus/minus with a plus-7 rating.
  • The Canes are on quite the road journey this week. It started in Buffalo on Friday, and continues to St. Louis and Winnipeg before they return home next Tuesday.

NHL Notes

  • The Dallas Stars are in deep trouble. After drawing 15,285 (announced but did not appear to be actual), the Stars drew a total of 22,560 for their next three games (6,306, 7.949, and 8.305). To put this in perspective, the Maple Lafs drew 19,359 to a Monday night game against Colorado.
  • Congrats to Winnipeg, which won its first game since the Jets returned to Manitoba, 2-1, over Pittsburgh Monday.
  • Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang will face a Department of Player Safety hearing today to discuss the boarding penalty for which he was called in the third period of Monday’s game. Letang appeared to hit Winnipeg’s Alexander Burmistrov from behind.

Follow Steve on Twitter @skendallhockey

Check out what they are saying in Carolina at Cardiac Cane

Tags: Adam McQuaid Boston Bruins Brian Boucher Cam Ward Carolina Hurricaes Dallas Stars David Krejci Hal Gill Jeff Skinner Joe Thornton Kris LeTang Montreal Canadiens Phil Kessel Ryan Hopkins-Nugent San Jose Sharks Steven Kampfer Tim Thomas Toronto Maple Leafs Tuukka Rask Tyler Seguin

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