Canes Now

Ward to start as Canes look to rebound in Boston

Cam Ward will again be in net Saturday as the Canes look to rebound from their first regulation loss in November.

The opponent: the Boston Bruins, in TD Garden. The challenge: beat a Bruins team that has lost its last two games.

Ward was the Canes' best player Thursday, making 34 saves, as the Canes took a 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at PNC Arena. The Jets set the pace early and the Canes, despite a push in the second period and power-play goal by Elias Lindholm, never led in the game and never controlled the flow of the game.

"We have to focus as a team on the starts," forward Jiri Tlusty said Friday. "We got burned (by the Jets) with another one. We have to play better in front of Cam because he's been playing amazingly well. He's giving us a chance to win a game most of the nights, so we have to take care of that and just play better."

The Canes have been outshot in the first period in each of the past four games: 11-4 by Columbus, 17-3 by Washington, 8-5 by Calgary and 13-6 by Winnipeg. That's 49-18. Against the Jets, the Canes had one shot on goal in the first 11 minutes.

"Last night we were trying to make the nice plays out there and we were making turnovers," Tlusty said. "At the start of the game you don't have to do anything nice. Just put it behind their D and try to go and outwork them and create the chances."

Lindholm did not practice Friday, and Peters said the forward has a "foot issue" and was being evaluated Friday. Peters said he hoped Lindholm would be able to play this weekend -- the Canes face the San Jose Sharks on Sunday at PNC Arena.

Defenseman Jay Harrison also was off the ice Friday. Peters said he has a lower-body injury and is day-to-day.

Peters said Lindholm's absence caused the lines to be skewed in practice, but Eric Staal was back at center after starting Thursday's game on the wing on Victor Rask's line.

"Victor probably when he's playing with younger guys, he looks a little more comfortable and doesn't force anything," Peters said. "Then when he plays with some of the older guys, the veteran guys, it looks like he's trying to force pucks to spots where they're not available."

Rask centered Jeff Skinner and Chris Terry on Friday. Staal was at center with Tlusty and Zach Boychuk, Riley Nash centered Nathan Gerbe and Alex Semin, and Jay McClement was with Brad Malone and Pat Dwyer. The defensive pairs were Andrej Sekera-Justin Faulk, Ron Hainsey-Brett Bellemore and John-Michael Liles-Tim Gleason.

Peters said Anton Khudobin would be in net Sunday against San Jose, giving him his first start at PNC Arena this season.

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