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Canes @ Lightning

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The Canes are running out of time. Though they are not technically out of the playoff picture, they will be playing spoiler for sure. This is the first of a back-to-back in Florida, where they take on the Panthers on Sunday. But first thing's first... they gotta shut down Stamkos and St. Louis on their home ice.

Good news is that Tuomo Ruutu is expected to be back on the ice for one or both of these games. That would be a huge improvement over the revolving door wing spot on the first line with Staal (which has seen Boychuk, Bowman, Samson, Stewart and Larose since Ruutu went down). Giving Staal his familiar winger, and a much more consistent one at that, will help down the stretch of this playoff push.

OR, maybe Muller will reinstate the Skins and Fins line (Skinner, Ruutu and Jokinen) and keep Larose with Staal and Tlusty... considering Larose has been dynamite since his return from injury. That's an interesting idea... I might actually prefer. What do you guys think?

Carolina is tied for the 13th spot in the East, ten points out of 3rd (division lead) and eight points out of 8th in the conference (Washington). Tampa is 4 points ahead of Carolina and in 11th place.

Here are a couple interesting news articles: Erik Cole fined $2,500 for slew footing Oilers' Jeff Petry.

Mike Green suspended 3 games for head-hunting Brett Connolly (dirty hit).

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14 games to go...Win 10 they have a real chance or better yet when them all in regulation and be all but guarantee a playoff spot.......

Canes are playing there best hockey of the year...even if they dont make the playoffs i hope it rolls over to next year.....

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Bitter sweet win tonight as Tlusty goes down with an upper body injury off of a Steven Stamkos hit. It was an exciting game, wasn't it? Larose has scored on three consecutive games... he's really playing his butt off since coming back form that injury. It is hard to imagine taking him off the first line... and so far there is no reason to.

Skinner tallied two great goals and the game winner... too bad he didn't get the empty netter to seal a hat trick. I'm surprised he doesn't have one yet.

John Forslund said Staal played sick, on ESPN radio. He had a pretty good game.

Sutter and the third line did a fantastic job with St. Louis and Stamkos.

Good game, great win... on to Sunrise!

By the way Sapper, I love the Tobias quote... The world's first analrapist.

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