Canes Now

Quick hits from the Canes’ morning skate

The last time the Canes and Chicago Blackhawks played, it was a day of distraction for the Canes.

It was March 2. The NHL trade deadline was 3 p.m., just hours away from game time that night in Chicago. While no moves were made by the Canes that day, Andrej Sekera, Jiri Tlusty and Tim Gleason already had been traded and the anxiety level high.

Predictably, the Blackhawks won 5-2.

"We're a bit young and were fragile at that time," Canes coach Bill Peters said Monday. "There were guys who probably thought they were going to get moved, and didn't. Then all of a sudden you take a big breath and you're down 5-1."

There also was the matter of playing one of the league's best teams. Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews set the tone with the first two goals for Chicago, picking up the second shorthanded.

The victory over the Canes was the start of a 6-1-1 run by the Blackhawks (43-22-6), who face Carolina on Monday at PNC Arena in the third of four road games.

-- Goalie Anton Khudobin will make his fifth straight start for the Canes and will face Corey Crawford. Khudobin has lost his past three starts, taking an overtime loss to Ottawa and shootout loss Saturday against the New York Rangers.

"He's played good and been real good recently," Peters said. "He's earned the opportunity to have these five starts."

Cam Ward was at the morning skate but continues to recover from an illness and again will be the backup.

Crawford allowed four goals on 29 shots Saturday in a 4-0 road loss to the Dallas Stars but was 6-0-1 in his previous seven games.

-- Danny Biega is making the most of his opportunity. The rookie defenseman, recalled last week from the Charlotte Checkers (AHL), will play in his third straight game.

"Danny was better in game two than in game one and now he's got a real good test here today," Peters said.

Biega, a right-handed shooter, was paired with John-Michael Liles at the morning skate. Justin Faulk was with Ron Hainsey and Ryan Murphy with Michal Jordan, giving the Canes three lefty-righty pairings.

"We have the ability to move the puck and we need to move the puck good tonight (or) spend a lot of time in our D zone," Peters said.

-- The Canes' lines had Victor Rask centering Eric Staal and Elias Lindholm; Jordan Staal with Nathan Gerbe and Andrej Nestrasil; Riley Nash with Jeff Skinner and Alex Semin; and Jay McClement at center with Chris Terry and Pat Dwyer.

-- Of note: the Blackhawks are 23-2-0 when leading after the first period and 22-0-0 when leading after two. They also lead the NHL with nine shootout wins.

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