Murphy accepts NHL punishment

Posted by Chip Alexander on November 5, 2013 

Notes and quotes from Tuesday's morning skate at PNC Arena:

-- Canes defenseman Ryan Murphy has used a hip-check effectively at times this season, but his open-ice hit hit on Derek Dorsett of the New York Rangers on Saturday led to a fine from the NHL. His explanation:

"It happened so fast and I just thought I could get him with a clean hit, not too low and not a dangerous hit. But the league thought different and I accept the punishment. I won't let that happen again."

Murphy said he saw Dorsett cutting to the middle and said he saw an opportunity to make a hit, noting, "My intention was not to make a dirty hit or anything. It was just to take the body. Unfortunately I got a bit low on him and it cost me."

-- In their past two games, the Philadelphia Flyers have had an all-out brawl with the Washington Capitals -- Flyers goalie Ray Emery picking a fight with an unwilling Braden Holtby of the Caps -- and then played a relatively quiet road game with the New Jersey Devils. A 1-0 victory over the Devils followed the 7-0 rout by the Caps.

So what kind of game do the Canes expect Tuesday from the Flyers?

"I think they need wins, just like us," Canes forward Nathan Gerbe said. "They'll come hard and play a sound game. We just have to be ready and focused on what we need to do."

The Flyers, after losing seven of their first eight, have won three of the past five. The Canes, of course, have a five-game losing streak.

But Gerbe said the only thing that matters is the task at hand and not letting the weight of the streak be overwhelming.

"It's the smallest things that can lose games," he said. "You don't want to tweak too much. You want to stick to the game plan and keep focused on what you have to do.

"Eventually, we have to win. We know that. But we're not putting too much pressure on ourselves."

-- The Flyers' 7-0 loss to the Caps led to the emotional eruption in that game and the brawls. Flyers forward Scott Hartnell doesn't apologize for any of it, saying Tuesday it gave his team some needed energy and became a "rallying point" for the team.

But Canes coach Kirk Muller said he doesn't expect a similar, drop-the-gloves, go-all-psycho reaction from his team despite the run of losses.

"The way we came out in the last game (against New York) showed me that we care, that we're focused," he said. "Something has to break. Offensive opportunities, a break, a goal here, take the lead for the first time. Something like that will happen if we focus on the details of the game."

Muller doesn't expect frustration to build to the point fists start flying or goalie Justin Peters goes skating down the ice looking to fight someone.

"Those things can happen but I don't think there's a frustration part for our guys," Muller said. "I think they're trying to stay focused on the little things in the game. I think they believe they're a good hockey team.

"It's easy to get frustrated, it's easy to lose your discipline. That's the challenge for a pro athlete, coaches. What we have to do is focus on the little details, our game and make that consistent. From past experience if you do that, things usually turn for us. That's what we're after."

-- There were no line changes from Monday's practice at the skate. Eric Staal will center Jiri Tlusty and Alex Semin; Jordan Staal will center Gerbe and Elias Lindholm; Riley Nash will center Tuomo Ruutu and Pat Dwyer, and Manny Malhotra will center Drayson Bowman and Radek Dvorak.

Defensively, Justin Faulk was paired with Andrej Sekera, Jay Harrison with Murphy and Ron Hainsey with Brett Bellemore. Peters will be in net. Mike Komisarek will be a healthy extra.

-- Dvorak, as expected, was activated off injured reserve Tuesday. Muller said injured forward Jeff Skinner was to meet with a doctor Tuesday morning and had no update on his status.

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