WASHINGTON -- The Canes have won four straight but could see an old friend standing in their way Saturday. More to the point, in a goalie’s crouch.
The Washington Capitals are expected to start Justin Peters in net against the Canes. Peters played 68 games for the Canes in parts of five seasons, and "Pete Dawg" was one of the more popular players on the team.
"It would be good to see 'Petey." I always wish the best for him but maybe not tonight," Canes center Riley Nash said, smiling.
Peters, who signed as a free agent with the Caps in July, has been in four games this season and is 1-2-1 with a 3.04 goals-against average and .880 save percentage. He'll be facing Anton Khudobin, who will get his first start for the Canes since Oct. 24 at Edmonton as Cam Ward started the past five games.
The Caps won at Chicago on Friday night, beating the Blackhawks 3-2 behind goaltender Braden Holtby, who had 38 saves. Peters gave up six goals on 30 shots in his last start, a 6-5 loss to Arizona on Sunday at the Verizon Center.
The Canes will make a few tweaks to their lineup, coach Bill Peters said Saturday. Winger Chris Terry will be a healthy scratch and be replaced by Brad Malone. Peters said Jeff Skinner would start at left wing on Victor Rask's line with Zach Boychuk and that Malone would play the left side on Jay McClement's line opposite Pat Dwyer.
Defenseman Tim Gleason (upper-body injury) is day-to-day, Peters said, but will sit out a second straight game.
The Canes did not have a morning skate at the Verizon Center as the players stretched and held a few brief meetings. They also held a brief jog though the hallway outside their locker room as trainer Pete Friesen kept things moving along.
Peters said after the Canes' 3-2 win Friday over Columbus that he did not sense his team was emotionally engaged in the game. He said Saturday that it was a "little bit of a surprise" but that some early penalties disrupted the flow of the game and kept some forwards such as Skinner and Alex Semin on the bench too long as the Canes killed off the penalties.
As Nash explained, "It was just one of those games where we battled to get really involved, and get four lines going and get that forecheck going and get our speed into it. It just seemed like a choppy game where we'd have a couple of minutes of five-on-five and start to get rolling and get a penalty and it’d take everything out of synch."
Peters said he did like the play of Semin, who was a healthy scratch against Arizona and Los Angeles last weekend and had a quiet game Tuesday in Columbus.
"It was probably his most effective game as far as being involved," Peters said. "I thought he made some real good plays offensively. I thought he had more emotional engagement that he has in the past."