Canes get 'morning skate' Friday before Saturday's unusual game starts

Posted by Chip Alexander on January 24, 2014 

The Canes put in a practice Friday at PNC Arena, taking the ice at 12:30 p.m,, in what coach Kirk Muller said would serve as the morning skate for a noon start Saturday.

Because of the unusual scheduling changes this week, the Canes will have an unusual 12 p.m. home game against the Ottawa Senators.

"We're not used to it but we're not used to snowstorm cancellations, either," Muller said, smiling.

The Canes had both the Jan. 7 game at Buffalo and Tuesday's scheduled game at Philadelphia postponed by snow. The Buffalo game was rescheduled for Feb. 25. The Canes played the Flyers on Wednesday, winning 3-2, a rearrangement that caused the Ottawa game to be moved from Friday night to Saturday at noon.

"You've got to be ready for anything thrown at you," Muller said. "Ottawa probably doesn't play too many at noon, either, so there's no excuses."

The Canes topped the Sabres 5-3 to take four points out of the back-to-back as Anton Khudobin was in net for both games. Khudobin should start again Saturday against the Sens.

"He said he feels good and obviously he's on a roll," Muller said. "He'll go right back at them tomorrow."

There were no line changes or changes in the defensive pairs from the Sabres game at Friday's practice. Eric Staal centered Jiri Tlusty and Alex Semin, Jordan Staal centered Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm, Manny Malhotra was at center with Nathan Gerbe and Drayson Bwoman, and Riley Nash at center with Tuomo Ruutu and Radek Dvorak.

Defensively, Justin Faulk was with Andrej Sekera, Ron Hainsey with John-Michael Liles and Jay Harrison with Mike Komisarek. Brett Bellemore was the extra defenseman.

Goaltender Cam Ward did not participate in the practice but took the ice after it for some work. He is expected to be available to play next week.

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