HURRICANES (4-3-3) at AVALANCHE (8-1-0)
TV: SPSO, ALT
Season series: This is the first of two meetings between the Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche. They will play again Nov. 9 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. The teams have not met since Feb. 10, 2012, when the Avalanche won 4-3 in overtime in Denver.
Big story: It's been a tale of two seasons for Carolina and Colorado in goal. The Hurricanes have been bit hard by the injury bug; the Avalanche has received solid play from both of its goalies.
Cam Ward left Carolina's game last night against the Minnesota Wild with a lower-body injury and will miss three to four weeks. Regular backup Anton Khudobin has been out with a lower-body injury since Oct. 13. Justin Peters took over for Ward against the Wild in his first NHL game since April and first since he was called up from Charlotte of the American Hockey League on Oct. 14.
Colorado has received spectacular goaltending from Semyon Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere. The Avalanche is allowing an NHL-low 1.33 goals per game. Giguere has two shutouts in three starts (.981 save percentage, 0.67 GAA), and Varlamov has a .950 save percentage and a 1.68 goals-against average.
Hurricanes: Carolina will play its second game in as many nights after losing 3-1 at Minnesota on Thursday. The Hurricanes are now 2-1-0 on a four-game road trip, but losing Ward, their starting goaltender, was more painful than dropping two points.
"Don't like to see that with anybody," Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk said. "But we trust [Peters], too. We're confident in any goalie we put in there."
The Wild scored on its first two shots against Peters, but he settled in to stop the next 19 shots he faced. Peters is likely to start against Colorado, with rookie Mike Murphy backing him up. Murphy was recalled from Charlotte to join the team in Denver.
Avalanche: Colorado beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 on Monday in a battle of two of the NHL's top teams. Giguere made 34 saves for his second shutout and was honored as the game's "First Star."
The key to the victory, according to coach Patrick Roy, was Colorado's penalty kill, which was 7 for 7 and improved to a league-leading 90.3 percent on opponent power plays this season. Giguere made several big saves to help stifle the Penguins' power play.
"It's not very often we're going to win in Pittsburgh [when] they had seven power plays," Roy said. "They are probably one of the best in the league, and they were moving the puck really well. Your goalie needs to be your best player in every situation, and [Giguere] was our best player."
The Avalanche suffered its only loss of the season in its last home game when Detroit came into Pepsi Center and left town with a 4-2 win. Colorado also lost defenseman Cody McLeod against Detroit after he laid a hit that was later deemed illegal by the NHL on Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall. McLeod was suspended five games Monday and is scheduled to return Nov. 2 against Montreal.
Who's hot: Alexander Semin has three points in his past two games and scored the Hurricanes' only goal at Minnesota on Thursday following a two-assist game against the New York Islanders on Saturday. … Gabriel Landeskog scored the only goal in Colorado's 1-0 win at Pittsburgh, and the 2012 Calder Trophy winner has goals in three straight games.
Injury report: In addition to Ward and Khudobin, the Hurricanes are without forward Jeff Skinner, who sustained an upper-body injury in Minnesota. Defenseman Tim Gleason (concussion) and forwards Pat Dwyer (upper body) and Elias Lindholm (shoulder) are day-to-day. … Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson (bruised foot) is day-to-day after he was held out of practice Thursday after sustaining the injury blocking a shot in practice Wednesday.
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