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Canes Now is your home for the news, notes and everything else about the Carolina Hurricanes. This blog is primarily maintained by Canes beat writer Chip Alexander. Luke DeCock also contributes. Follow Chip on Twitter @ice_chip.

Monday debate: what do you miss most?

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It's Christmas Eve and holidays are a time to be with family.

But here's a hockey question to ponder: what have you missed the most about the Canes not playing?

Seeing Jordan Staal in a Canes' uniform? Alex Semin? Jeff Skinner with the puck, Cam Ward with the save? The game atmosphere at PNC Arena? The tailgates?

The floor is open. And here's hoping everyone has a nice Christmas.

Canes Now has moved

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Attention loyal readers: Canes Now has moved.

Please visit our new and improved site at www.newsobserver.com/canesnow. And please update those bookmarks. Thanks for following along.

Look forward to seeing everyone over at our new home.

Canes @ Caps

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WASHINGTON -- They may have changed divisions but one thing about the Carolina Hurricanes' games with Washington has not changed: they're still rugged, at times chippy affairs.

The two old Southeast Division rivals, now members of the new Metropolitan Division, went at it Thursday at the Verizon Center and it's 2-2 after two periods.

The Canes, trailing 1-0 after the first, tied the sore 1-1 on Elias Lindholm's first NHL goal. The Caps retook the lead 2-1 as Alexander Ovechkin tipped in a shot, but Alexander Semin's power-play goal tied it 2-2.

Semin, playing against his former team, was booed each time he touched the puck. But he bombed in a shot from the left circle on a 5-on-3 power play for his first goal of the season.

The Capitals did some running and gunning in the first period, setting up well offensively and getting off 14 shots in taking a 1-0 lead. Oddly, the goal was scored on one of the Caps' weakest attempts.

Jason Chimera scored at 5:33 of the first, following up a rebound with a weak wrister from the left circle. Canes goalie Anton Khudobin, slightly screened, never could track the puck.

The Chimera goal was the Caps' fourth at even strength this season. The Caps led the NHL in power-play percentage (6-12, 50 percent) before the game but was 0-2 in the opening period.

Khudobin, making his second start of the season, made nice stops on shots by Nicklas Backstrom, Eric Fehr and Mikhail Grabovski in the first three minutes.

Braden Holtby, in net for the Caps, faced nine shots but was not forced into any difficult stops.

The Canes had a power play after Chimera's goal but couldn't convert, getting off one shot by Alex Semin.

Khudobin in net as Canes seek to rebound

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WASHINGTON -- Anton Khudobin will be in net tonight as the Canes face the Washington Capitals, but Canes coach Kirk Muller said it wasn't a decision based on the 5-2 loss Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

"It was the tentative plan before (the season) started for the first few games," Muller said after the morning skate at the Verizon Center. "Despite the results of the game the other night we were going with (Khudobin). Hopefully he can carry on the way he did last game."

Cam Ward was in net for the season-opener against the Detroit Red Wings and then against the Pens. Sandwiched in-between was Khudobin's first appearance for the Hurricanes, a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at PNC Arena.

CanesNow on the move

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After today, the new address for CanesNow will be:

www.newsobserver.com/canesnow

Bookmark it. Keep it in mind. It's a switch but a minor one.

Thanks.

Slow start, rough finish too much for Canes

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A day after a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Canes coach Kirk Muller had not changed his mind about how the game played out.

Initially, he said, some of the younger players may have been been star-gazing a bit on the ice against the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Nor were the Canes assertive enough early in their first road game of the season.

"The first period it was like we had too much respect for them," Muller said after the game at Consol Energy Center. "We wanted to push but we didn't. In the second period we got back into it and I thought in the third period we were in good shape until that third goal."

Pens 5, Canes 2

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PITTSBURGH -- Jussi Jokinen once helped the Carolina Hurricanes win some big games.

Now, the Finnish forward is quickly becoming a big Canes killer for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jokinen had a hat trick Tuesday as the Pens took a 5-2 victory over the Hurricanes in the first Metropolitan Division game between the two teams.

Canes, Pens in Metro matchup: it's different

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PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby is expecting another fast-paced game against the Canes tonight at Consol Energy Center.

"It's always that way against them," the Pittsburgh Penguins star said Tuesday. "They're a team that plays with a lot of speed."

As for it being a Metropolitan Division game, Crosby smiled. "That will be a little different," he said.

Canes set for two-game road test

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After starting the season with a pair of home games, the Canes seem ready to get out of town for a couple of games.

It could shape up as an important mini-trip. The Canes (1-0-1) topped the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 Sunday in their first Metropolitan Division game, and now face the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals in two more divisional games.

"It's nice to go on the road off some strong games at home," Canes coach Kirk Muller said Monday. "We've been here for a while, so I think the guys are ready to head out and hit Pittsburgh and Washington. Two tough teams but we're just focused on one, and they're not giving up much right now."

Canes 2, Flyers 1

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This time, the Carolina Hurricanes wouldn't let go of the lead.

The Canes won their first game of the season Sunday, using goals from Radek Dvorak and Jay Harrison and solid play in net from Anton Khudobin for a 2-1 victory over the winless Philadelphia Flyers.

The Canes couldn't hold on to a lead in their season-opener Friday as the Detroit Red Wings rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 in overtime.

Dvorak gave the Canes a 2-1 lead after the second period, converting a Flyers turnover into a score.

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