Canes Now

Quick hits from the Canes' morning skate

It's not as if the Canes and Ducks had a lot of preparation or scouting work to do before Thursday's game at PNC Arena.

The two played last week in Anaheim. The lineups are basically the same. The power-play and penalty kill units will operate the same.

There will be one change, however: Cam Ward will be in net for the Canes and John Gibson for the Ducks.

Anton Khudobin was the starting goalie for the Canes last week as the Ducks won 5-4 in overtime. Frederik Andersen started for the Ducks, allowing four goals on 32 shots.

Andersen, a former Canes draft pick, suffered an upper-body injury -- he was hit in the back of the head and neck with a tipped over net -- Sunday against the Tampa Bay Lightning and has been placed on injured reserve.

Gibson, 21, is 2-2 in five appearances this season with a 2.66 goals-against average and .915 save percentage. Recalled from Norfolk (AHL) on Tuesday, he stopped 15 of 18 shots after relieving Ilya Bryzgalov in the 6-2 loss to the Florida Panthers.

The Canes have not played since Saturday, when they ended a four-game road trip with a 5-4 win over the San Jose Sharks. It's almost been like a second All-Star break.

"It has been a good few days of practice," forward Jeff Skinner said Thursday. "We went out West and had a decent road trip and I think we want to build off that. It was a little bit of break but sometimes this time of the year it's good to get some rest and then get back at it."

-- The Ducks (34-14-7), who lead the Pacific Division, are ending a five-game trip East that began with a win in Nashville, followed by losses to Washington, Tampa Bay and Florida -- the loss to the Caps in a shootout. Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau put the Ducks through a long practice Wednesday at Raleigh Center Ice.

"We needed a good practice to get the ship turned around a little bit," Boudreau said Thursday. "This is a group that does not like to lose."

-- The Canes will go with the same lineup they had for the Sharks, including Ward in net.

The lines will have Jordan Staal centering Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty; Victor Rask at center with Skinner and Elias Lindholm; Andrej Nestrasil centering Nathan Gerbe and Alex Semin, and Jay McClement at center with Brad Malone and Pat Dwyer. Chris Terry and Riley Nash will be the extra forwards.

The defensive pairs will again be Andrej Sekera-Justin Faulk, Ron Hainsey-Brett Bellemore and Tim Gleason-John-Michael Liles.

"I'm expecting an extremely fast skating team," Boudreau said of the Canes. "They'll be all pumped up after having some days off."

- - The Canes have earned a point in eight of the last 11 games against the Ducks, including four of the last five at home.

-- Despite going 0-2-1 in their last three road games, the Ducks are 15-8-4 on the road this season. The Canes are 11-9-3 at home.

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