Hurricanes aim to snap 3-game slide vs. Lightning

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Updated: November 1, 2013

(SportsNetwork.com) – The hobbled Carolina Hurricanes will try to put the
brakes on a three-game losing streak when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning in
Friday’s clash at PNC Arena.

The Hurricanes have lost three straight games — all in regulation — to match
an 0-1-2 stretch from Oct. 11-15 for their longest win drought of the young
season.

Carolina is playing without its top two goaltenders, as both starter Cam Ward
and backup Anton Khudobin are currently sidelined with lower-body injuries.
That has left Justin Peters as the de facto No. 1 and he is 0-3-0 with a 3.13
goals against average and .893 save percentage this season.

With Ward and Khudobin still weeks away from returning, Peters expects to see
his third straight start in net on Friday.

Carolina’s Jeff Skinner also is sidelined with an upper-body injury and the
speedy winger will miss a third straight game on Friday. Skinner, who has
three goals and six assists this season, will sit out Saturday’s road tilt
against the New York Rangers as well.

The ‘Canes could get forward Radek Dvorak back Friday after he sat out
Monday’s loss to Pittsburgh with a lower-body injury.

Carolina lost a 3-1 decision Monday against the visiting Penguins. Nathan
Gerbe had a power-play goal to account for all of the Hurricanes’ offense,
while Peters surrendered all three goals on 29 shots.

“We’re not giving up much, but when we do, like tonight, the good players
capitalize on us,” Carolina head coach Kirk Muller remarked. “We need more
from other people as well.”

The setback dropped Carolina’s home record to 1-2-3 this season.

Tampa Bay will try to get back in the win column Friday after losing a 2-1
regulation decision Tuesday night in New Jersey. Jaromir Jagr and Adam
Henrique scored one goal apiece for the Devils, while New Jersey goaltender
Martin Brodeur only needed to make 16 saves for the win.

Steven Stamkos scored his ninth goal of the season for Tampa Bay, but Ben
Bishop allowed both goals on 22 shots in the setback.

“We have a game plan in place and it gets a little frustrating when we don’t
execute our plan,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “If you’re going to
get less than 20 shots in a hockey game, that’s not very hard to play
against.”

Tampa Bay had won three straight prior to Tuesday’s loss and has taken four of
five and nine of the last 13 meetings with the Hurricanes. Carolina and the
Lightning used to play in the same division — the now-defunct Southeast —
before this season’s realignment placed Tampa in the Atlantic and moved the
‘Canes to the Metropolitan Division.

Carolina halted a four-game series losing streak against the Bolts with a 3-2
win in Tampa win the clubs last met on April 21 of last season. The Lightning
have claimed four straight and seven of the past eight encounters in Raleigh.