Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series tied 1-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 24th
Game 2: Sunday, November 15th

Hurricanes 2

(2-5-3, 7 pts)

Wild 3

(3-7-0, 6 pts)

8:00 PM ET, October 24, 2009

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 OT T
CAR 1 1 0 02
MIN 1 1 0 13

B. Burns (Wild - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

C. Clutterbuck (Wild - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

N. Backstrom (Wild - G): Saves: 21, Save Pct.: .913

Hurricanes-Wild Preview


The Minnesota Wild should be glad to return home, even if it's for one game. The end of a four-game road trip can't come soon enough for the Carolina Hurricanes.

The struggling Wild look to bounce back from their latest road defeat Saturday night when they return home to meet the Hurricanes, hoping to avoid a winless trip.

It may only be a brief stop on home ice before visiting Chicago on Monday, but Minnesota (2-7-0) could use a night at the Xcel Energy Center after losing 3-1 at St. Louis on Friday to fall to 0-7-0 on the road.

The Wild, though, have won both their home games. They'll try to stay perfect there when they welcome Carolina (2-5-2), which fell to 0-4-1 on the road with a 5-4 loss to Colorado on Friday.

The Hurricanes, who've lost five in a row overall, have been outscored 11-7 while going 0-2-1 on this trip.

Tuomo Ruutu had a goal with an assist Friday but was given a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct after checking the Avalanche's Darcy Tucker into the boards. Tucker was knocked unconscious and taken off the ice strapped to a backboard. The Avalanche said he had a concussion but was alert and taken to the hospital for further treatment and evaluation.

"All I can say is the league will take care of looking at (the hit.) I hope (Tucker's) OK," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said.

"We missed (Ruutu). There's no question. On the road, to lose a forward like that, we missed him."

Ray Whitney added his team-leading fourth goal and Matt Cullen his third for the Hurricanes, who are 0-3-2 since beating Florida 7-2 on Oct. 9.

Trying to snap its skid and finally win on the road won't be easy for Carolina, which is 0-3-0 with a tie at Minnesota since posting its only road victory over the Wild, 7-3 on Oct. 24, 2001.

Minnesota will likely need more offense than it produced Friday to continue its recent home success over Carolina.

Playing in his second game since being acquired Sunday in a trade with Boston, Chuck Kobasew scored his first goal Friday for the Wild, whose 18 regulation goals are among the fewest in the NHL. Ten of those have come on the power play.

The Wild were outshot 15-4 and trailed 1-0 after the first period at St. Louis.

"You have to figure out by now how to be ready when the game starts," said Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom, who made 23 saves while falling to 2-5-0. "We can't afford to do this every night."

Backstrom, who's 2-0-0 with a 3.01 goals-against average against the Hurricanes, could be back in net Saturday with backup Josh Harding having gone 0-2-0 with a 5.51 GAA in two starts.

Minnesota forward Eric Belanger, who recorded his team-leading seventh assist Friday, has a goal and two assists in his last three games against the Hurricanes. Kobasew has three career goals against them.

Cam Ward is 2-5-2 with a 2.76 GAA for Carolina, which is allowing 3.2 goals per game.

While Ward has allowed eight goals in his last two starts, backup Michael Leighton gave up three on 14 shots after replacing Ward in a 7-2 loss at Boston on Oct. 3 -- Leighton's only action of the season.

Whitney has four points in his last four games, and four goals with 13 assists in 16 games versus the Wild.