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For the Carolina Hurricanes, things haven't been going overly well lately. They have only won once in their last five games and went .500 through January, a month they had targeted for improvement in the standings.
With that being said, the Hurricanes players themselves are having different reactions towards handling such adversity heading into Thursday night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning
One thing is clear though - that getting depressed and acting like the sky is falling will not solve any problems.
"It's important not to get down, but it's important to be a little upset about it too," said Hurricanes scoring leader Ray Whitney, who scored the lone Carolina goal in the loss to Toronto on Tuesday night. "There's a fine line between not being down and being a little bit irritated by what happened. You've got to find that balance, I guess."
The Hurricanes will turn to players like Whitney to help them find that balance before the game against Tampa, who would pull even with Carolina in the standings with a win. Besides being a veteran player and an alternate captain, Whitney is also counted upon for a few jokes and antics designed to keep the team loose and relaxed on game days.
Another player who falls into that category is winger Chad LaRose, who played his 100th NHL/Hurricanes game on Tuesday. Despite being a young player who lacks the experience of someone like Whitney, who has played in 816 NHL games, LaRose is a vocal figure who tries to keep things upbeat in the locker room.

Full Story

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Thursday, Feb. 1, 7 p.m. (ET)
Hurricanes: 26-21-6 (58 pts.)
27-23-2 (56 pts.)
  • Defenseman Mike Commodore played his 200th NHL game, Jan. 30 vs. Toronto
  • Right wing Chad LaRose played his 100th NHL/Hurricanes game, Jan. 30 vs. Toronto
  • Center Eric Staal is two assists shy of 100 NHL/Hurricanes assists
  • Center Eric Belanger is one assist shy of 100 NHL assists
  • Head coach Peter Laviolette is two wins shy of 100 Hurricanes victories
  • none
  • This marks Carolina’s eighth game in its last nine against a Southeast Division opponent. The Hurricanes are currently 13-5-2 against the division this season after going 18-11-3 last season. The Hurricanes are 9-2-2 in their last 13 games against division opponents, and have suffered just one divisional loss in regulation at home this season (Jan. 18 vs. Washington).
  • Left wing Ray Whitney has earned points in nine of Carolina’s last 10 games, scoring five goals and earning nine assists (14 points) dating back to Jan. 6. Whitney picked up multiple assists in three of those games, earning two helpers on Jan. 6 against the NY Islanders and Jan. 9 at Toronto, and three assists on Jan. 26 against Washington.
  • While the Hurricanes have won just one game in their last five outings, the team has earned points in seven of its last 10 games, going 5-3-2 in that span, earning 12 of a possible 20 points.
  • Tampa Bay has gone 8-2-0 in its last 10 games, including seven straight wins. Four of the Lightning’s last eight wins have come via the shootout, including three of the last four.
  • This season, Carolina’s penalty kill has gone 212-for-246 (86.2%) in 49 games with Rod Brind’Amour in the lineup. It went 17-for-27 (63.0%) in the four games Brind’Amour missed in December.
  • Winger Erik Cole, lower body contusion, day-to-day
  • Defenseman Bret Hedican, illness/finger surgery, injured reserve, out 3-4 weeks
  • Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle, shoulder, out

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