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Canes 2, Blues 1 (SO)

ST. LOUIS — In the second-straight shootout for the Carolina Hurricanes, Jussi Jokinen, who had been denied in five shootouts this season, got the winner in a 2-1 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center Saturday.

More line changes on way against Blues

ST. LOUIS — The Carolina Hurricanes play the second game of a back-to-back road set against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center tonight at 8 p.m.

Carolina coach Paul Maurice, who tinkered with the lines in Friday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars, said he's not done tinkering, Saturday.

"I'm still working with [Associate head coach Ron Francis] on it," Maurice said in the afternoon, which the Hurricanes had off. "It's not going to be anything earth-shattering or anything we haven't done before."

Carolina goalie Cam Ward, who saved his team on several occasions Friday, will go again tonight, Maurice said.

 

Jokinen learned much from 'mentor' Lehtinen

DALLAS — Carolina Hurricanes forward Jussi Jokinen always looked up to countryman Dallas Stars Jere Lehtinen, who announced his retirement from hockey Wednesday.

Jokinen said he learned a lot from Lehtinen when the two were teammates in Dallas from 2005 to 2008.

Both are from Finland.

"One of the best things that happened to me when I came to this league was being his roommate my first year," Jokinen said after Friday's morning practice at American Airlines Center, where the Hurricanes will play the Stars tonight at 8:30 p.m.

Canes aim to stop Stars' top line

DALLAS — The Carolina Hurricanes were playing their third game in four nights when they hosted the Dallas Stars on Nov. 29.

The Stars swept through town with their fourth-straight win in a streak that ended at six. Dallas heads into tonight's rematch (8:30 p.m., FSCR) with a two-game losing streak after losing 5-3 to the Blackhawks in Chicago Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have had five days of rest to remember for a pair of back-to-back road games.

"We tried to take full advantage of it," Canes coach Paul Maurice said.

 

Canes fighting some bumps and bruises

Fighting a number of bumps and bruises, the Canes had a limited, optional practice today at the RecZone.

Goaltenders Cam Ward and Justin Peters were joined on the ice by Joe Corvo, Jay Harrison, Jamie McBain, Jeff Skinner, Troy Bodie, Jussi Jokinen, Jiri Tlusty and Brandon Sutter. That was it: two goalies, eight skaters.

"We had a number of guys who brought some (physical) stuff into the Nashville game and hadn't healed up as much as we had hoped," coach Paul Maurice said. "We kept everybody that we thought had an issue off the ice and hopefully they'll all be ready for tomorrow. But we'll see."

Canes may need to rethink shootouts

WASHINGTON  -- Carolina Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice conceded Sunday that the time probably has come to reevaluate the players he sends out in shootouts.

"At some point you have to," he said.

The Canes are at that point. For the third time in five games, Carolina lost a shootout Sunday as Washington's Alex Ovechkin had the only shootout goal in the Caps' 3-2 victory at Verizon Center.

Jeff Skinner, Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu all came up empty for the Canes against Caps goalie Semyon Varlamov.

"There's not a lot of guys we're holding back on the bench, who have done it a while or really shown they've had success with it, " Maurice said.

Jokinen enjoys return to Arizona desert

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- For many of the Canes, the game against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight marks the end of a tough five-game road swing and little else.

For Jussi Jokinen, being back in the visitors locker room at Jobing.com Arena brings up some good memories.

In February 2009, Jokinen's career seemingly was at a crossroads. The Tampa Bay Lightning was looking for someone to take the Finnish forward, who had fallen out of favor with then-Bolts coach Rick Tocchet, and the Canes worked a deal to bring him to Carolina.

For Jokinen, joining the Canes meant a long flight from Tampa to Phoenix on the day of the trade. He arrived at Jobing.com Arena minutes before game time, with no time for introductions.

"It was the start of something pretty good," Jokinen said after today's morning skate.

Jokinen, Staal win writers' awards

Jussi Jokinen was named Hurricanes MVP and Eric Staal won the Good Guy Award for media cooperation in voting by the Carolina chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Jokinen Olympic snub puzzling

It's easy to see why the Finnish national team wouldn't want the Canes' Jussi Jokinen on the roster for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

All he can do is score goals and set up others for goals. He's a playmaker. He's good on the power play. He can take faceoffs. He can play any forward position.

He has Olympic experience, playing for Finland in 2006 in Italy. He proved he can score big goals in big games in the Stanley Cup playoffs last season. And if the game is decided in a shootout, which Olympics games can be, he may be the best.

"Sometimes, you wonder about the selections," the Canes' Eric Staal said today.

Bodies returning, Ward faces shots

A day after the Carolina Hurricanes had only 13 skaters at practice, the team got a few bodies back and goalie Cam Ward took shots with the team for the first time since an injury on Nov. 7.

"We're closing in on 20," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "When we get to Saturday, I guarantee you we're going to have [a full roster]. We've got a couple of injured guys out there that aren't effected by skating so they're able to get through it."

No. 1 goalie Cam Ward, who was injured Nov. 7, was limber and responsive in his first day of facing shots from the team. The last two days he practiced with assistant coach Tom Barrasso.

UPDATED: Defenseman Bryan Rodney has been recalled from the Albany River Rats. 

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