Kings-Hurricanes Preview: Scheduling Magic

Since we last faced the Carolina Hurricanes in...2010...

IN: Anthony Stewart, Tim Brent, Brian Boucher, Chris Durno, Andreas Nodl (claimed off waivers from the Flyers)

OUT: Erik Cole, Troy Brodie, Justin Pogge, Cory Stillman, Joe Corvo

HI/BYE: Alexei Ponikarovsky (traded to the Devils)

Possible Carolina lineup:

Tlusty-Staal-Ruutu
J.Jokinen-Skinner-Bowman
Dwyer-Sutter-Nodl
Stewart-Brent-Nash

Gleason-Allen
Faulk-Harrison
McBain-Spacek

Cam Ward

Kings lineup: Should be the same, except with Bernier in net.

Game outlook: LA's yearly Grammy road trip got off to a rough start as the Kings tried out new lines, and had one of their worst shot differential games under Sutter. While the Blues are one of the best possession teams in the league, getting only 22 shots through is still brutal.

Today brings a fresh evil challenge. Having arrived in Carolina at three in the morning, they will now play their back to back with less than 24 hours between them. On top of this, it'll be the a second game in a row reffed by the incomparable Stephane Auger.

We've come to expect a certain degree of sadism from the NHL's schedulers, but that's a double poke in the eye followed by a splash of lemon juice. I'd love to see them pull out a win in spite of it all.

Carolina has struggled this year, but are high off of beating the big bad bully Bruins very soundly. (I always wonder why people are surprised when games like that happen. Just because a team's lower than you in the standings, do you expect an automatic win? Have any of us ever watched hockey before?) Eric Staal is back on track, too.

Keep a stiff upper lip.

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