Friday, January 31, 2014

Game 42 preview: Charlotte Checkers at Lake Erie Monsters

Good afternoon, the Checkers will look to extend their winning-streak to a season-high five games with a victory in Lake Erie tonight. Veteran goaltender Cam Ward (with the Checkers on a conditioning assignment), or the "new guy" as his locker reads, should get the start in net.

Ward has not played in a game since being injured on Dec. 31. He has gone 6-7-5 in 19 appearances this season with the Hurricanes.

Lake Erie and Charlotte have not played each other yet this season. Their two-game set will conclude on Saturday.

Puck Drop: 7:30 p.m. ET

TV/Radio info: Video AHL Live / Audio 730 AM Charlotte

Records: Checkers 21-19-1, Monsters 18-20-4

Projected Checkers lineup:

Chris Terry-Brett Sutter-Zach Boychuk
Greg Nemisz-Brody Sutter-Aaron Palushaj
Philippe Cornet-Victor Rask-Justin Shugg
Matt Marquardt-A.J. Jenks-Matthew Pistilli

Michal Jordan-Danny Biega
Rasmus Rissanen-Ryan Murphy
Mark Flood-Matt Corrente

Cam Ward
John Muse
Mike Murphy

Healthy scratches: Keegan Lowe, Brendan Woods

Injured: Nicolas Blanchard (Out since Jan. 17 with upper body injury), Jared Staal (out since Jan. 3 with unspecified injury).

* Sean Dolan (out since Nov. 30 with an upper-body injury) has been assigned to the ECHL's Florida Everblades for a conditioning stint.

Storylines: With Ward and defenseman Ryan Murphy joining the team, the Checkers have a bit more star-power than usual... Things have not gone well for Lake Erie as of late. The Monsters are 1-7-1 over their last nine games and barely defeated last-place Utica on Tuesday, 3-2, in a shootout. The Checkers can relate to the Monsters struggles, as Lake Erie and Charlotte are the only two teams in the AHL this season to drop seven consecutive contests... Lake Erie Rookie Joey Hishon -- a 2010 first-round draft pick who missed nearly two seasons with concussion problems -- has had a nice bounce-back season with 18 points in 30 games... Aaron Palushaj has points in each of his last seven games (Jan. 10-24: 6g, 5a), while Greg Nemisz has points in each of his last six games (Jan. 3-24: 3g, 5a) and goals in each of his last three (Jan. 19-24: 3g, 1a).

Western Conference standings update: