'Canes try to stay hot at home vs. Canucks

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Carolina Hurricanes hope to remain perfect at home in January on Friday night as they welcome the Vancouver Canucks to PNC Arena.

The Hurricanes have opened the new calendar year with a 4-1-1 mark, winning four times at home around a pair of setbacks on the road. They were last in action on Tuesday, when they recorded a 3-2 shootout win over the Colorado Avalanche despite blowing an early lead.

Carolina got a first-period tally from Jordan Staal, his first of the season, and Patrick Dwyer lit the lamp in the second frame, but the Avalanche responded with a pair of third-period goals.

Anton Khudobin, who made 28 saves through overtime, was able to stop both Colorado shooters he faced in the tiebreaker, while Victor Rask and Elias Lindholm both scored for the home team.

"I was happy with the start. It would have been nice to get a few more (goals) in the first, but that wasn't the case," said Carolina coach Bill Peters, whose club had 20 shots in the opening period.

Carolina's current surge has come with Staal back in the lineup. He appeared in his seventh game of the season on Tuesday after missing the start of the campaign with a broken leg suffered in the preseason.

The Hurricanes could also have forward Andrej Nestrasil in the lineup tonight after recalling him on Wednesday from a conditioning stint in the American Hockey League. He appeared in three games with the Charlotte Checkers and has not played in the NHL since Dec. 8 due to an upper-body injury.

The Canucks, meanwhile, aim for a second straight win as they snapped a three- game slide with last night's 4-0 victory over the hosting Philadelphia Flyers. Vancouver had scored only two goals over its skid, but matched that total in the first period alone on Thursday.

Nick Bonino, Henrik Sedin, Radim Vrbata and Jannik Hansen lit the lamp for the Canucks, who were playing the second contest of a five-game road trip.

Ryan Miller, who did not play in the previous two games due to the flu, made 30 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and 33rd of his career.

"Felt pretty good. Been able to get some sleep so my energy came back. Just trying to keep everything pretty simple," said Miller. "When the puck came loose I was able to get a rebound from the shots. We competed really well on the penalty kill as well."

Vancouver could get a boost at the blue line if defenseman Dan Hamhuis can return tonight from a groin injury that has held him out of action since Nov. 20.

The Canucks got a pair of goals from Brad Richardson and 29 saves from Miller in a 4-1 home win over the Hurricanes on Oct. 28. It was their third straight win in this series and 10th in the last 13 meetings.

Cam Ward took the loss for Carolina, charged with three goals on 24 shots.

The Canucks had lost three in a row in Carolina prior to a victory there on Dec. 1, 2013.