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Jan 10, 2024 5:47 pm

Well-rested Hurricanes set to face Ducks

The Carolina Hurricanes will be back in action Thursday night after a four-day layoff, out to maintain many of the good vibes that have developed the past few weeks.

The opponent in the home game at Raleigh, N.C., will be the Anaheim Ducks, who are in the midst of a roster adjustment.

“I think the guys needed a little breather,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We were in a pretty good rhythm, so that’s the other part. When it’s going good, you like to keep kind of rolling. There’s a benefit to having a little mental break, too.”

The Hurricanes have a six-game points streak, tied for one of similar length in December. The two streaks give Carolina points in 12 of its last 13 games. The Hurricanes’ five-game winning streak ended in Saturday’s 2-1 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues, the opener of a six-game homestand.

The Ducks will be making their second stop on a five-game road trip after a rare victory, 5-3 on Tuesday at Nashville.

The Ducks won a day after a blockbuster trade that sent defenseman Jamie Drysdale and a second-round draft pick to the Philadelphia Flyers for highly regarded forward prospect Cutter Gauthier.

In recent days, the Ducks also have recalled defenseman Robert Hagg and claimed defenseman Gustav Lindstrom off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens.

“It’s very important. It’s going to be a long trip,” Ducks goalie Lukas Dostal said of the victory. “It’s always nice to start (a trip) with a win, so hopefully we keep going.”

The Ducks were coming off a frustrating eight-game homestand, going a disappointing 1-6-1.

“It was just a good team effort,” Anaheim coach Greg Cronin said of Tuesday’s game. “We’ve had a couple of clunkers. I thought we responded well. If we keep playing this way, we’ll get a lot of points down the stretch.”

Carolina was tied for the fewest home games of any team in the NHL, going 10-3-4 in its own building. The Hurricanes have at least a point in eight of their last nine games at home.

Production for the Hurricanes has come in large doses from several players. Teuvo Teravainen’s eight goals on home ice lead the team.

The Hurricanes expect to have winger Jesper Fast back after a brief injury layoff.

“I don’t have an issue with him being ready to play,” Brind’Amour said Wednesday.

The Ducks will need a lineup change after forward Trevor Zegras’ came away with a left leg injury Tuesday. Cronin said Zegras, who had four goals in 20 games, could “be out for a while.”

Anaheim’s Adam Henrique notched an assist Tuesday for his 500th career point. There were other ups and downs for the Ducks.

“We just got to play fast,” Cronin said. “We have to move the puck vertically. We got a little sloppy and started bringing the puck back and that’s not the way we play. We’ll learn from that and tighten it up for Carolina.”

Center Vasily Ponomarev has appeared in two games with Carolina, coming on back-to-back nights. He was sent back to Chicago of the American Hockey League at the beginning of the week.

Brind’Amour said he wanted to give Ponomarev more ice time in the second game, but the tone of that contest resulted in limiting his minutes to less than nine minutes. He is expected back with the Hurricanes in due time.

“He looks like he belongs,” Brind’Amour said.

–Field Level Media

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