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'Canes host Ducks in finale of successful homestand
(SportsNetwork.com) - Having captured seven of a possible eight points, the Carolina Hurricanes wrap what has been a successful homestand on Friday night as they play host to the Anaheim Ducks.
The Hurricanes had lost five straight in regulation before beginning a five- game homestand on Nov. 5. They won the first two contests of the residency before a shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild last Saturday.
Carolina then faced a Colorado Avalanche club on Tuesday that had yet to lose on the road, but came away with a 2-1 win thanks to goals from Patrick Dwyer and Jordan Staal as well as 33 saves by Justin Peters.
Staal also had an assist and linemate Nathan Gerbe assisted on both Carolina goals.
"The guys just beared down," Peters said of the team hanging on to the one- goal lead. "A couple big blocks, a couple big chips out, some unselfish plays just to get the puck out and kill the clock. It was nice to see the boys get rewarded."
The same could be said for Peters. He lost his first five starts after Cam Ward went down with a lower-body injury, but has stopped 110 of the 114 shots he has faced on this homestand.
And now the Hurricanes are starting to get healthy. Ward has not played since Oct. 24 but could serve as the backup to Peters tonight, while both Jeff Skinner and Kevin Westgarth could play after practicing on Thursday. Skinner has also been out since Oct. 24 with an upper-body injury, while Westgarth last played on Oct. 28 before an upper-body issue of his own.
Fellow forward Radek Dvorak is day-to-day with a lower-body injury suffered versus the Avalanche.
The Hurricanes have lost two straight and four of their past five to the Ducks, with Peters getting a loss in his lone career meeting against them. That was a 3-2 shootout loss in Carolina on Feb. 23, 2012 as he stopped 36 of the 38 shots faced through overtime.
Anaheim has won four of the last six meetings in Carolina and looks to rebound tonight after Thursday's 5-1 setback to the hosting Tampa Bay Lightning.
Emerson Etem had the lone Ducks goal and Jonas Hiller allowed all five goals on 20 shots faced. It was Anaheim's second straight setback -- both on the road to begin a four-game swing -- following an 8-0-1 surge.
"When you're fragile and you get behind, things start to go wrong," said Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau. "We weren't able to push back."
The Ducks are 7-5-1 on the road this season compared to 8-0-0 at home.
Corey Perry was able to play last night despite missing morning skate with the flu, though captain Ryan Getzlaf missed his third game in a row with an upper- body injury. He could return tonight.
Goaltender Viktor Fasth, meanwhile, backed up Hiller after missing 14 consecutive games with a lower-body ailment. He could get the start tonight, which would be the first of his career versus the Hurricanes.
11/15 11:05:05 ET