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Gameday: Avalanche vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s cross-conference match-up between the Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we update it with notes, videos, photos and more as puck drop draws near.

Important programming note: tonight’s game will be broadcast on SportSouth. This channel isn’t typically included in standard packages, but most carriers provide an overflow channel in order to broadcast the game. These channel numbers can vary on a game-to-game basis, so click here to locate your SportSouth channel numbers.

A preview of tonight’s game can be found below. The Canes will be on the ice at PNC Arena for a 10:30 a.m. morning skate, so check back here then for plenty more!

Last updated: 11:45 a.m.



KHUDOBIN TO START, LILES BACK IN
11:45 a.m.

Anton Khudobin will make his first start in net for the Hurricanes since Jan. 4, a 2-1 shootout victory over his former team, the Boston Bruins. Khudobin has earned wins in each of his last two starts dating back to Dec. 23, also a 2-1 shootout win over New Jersey. Khudobin has just one career appearance against Colorado, which came in 2011 when he played for Minnesota.

John-Michael Liles will draw back into the lineup tonight, and Brett Bellemore will sit out.

Here's what the lineup will look like:

E. Staal-J. Staal-Lindholm
Skinner-Rask-Semin
Gerbe-Nash-Tlusty
Malone-McClement-Dwyer

Sekera-Faulk
Hainsey-Murphy
Gleason-Liles

Khudobin
Ward

As per usual, Peters spoke with the media following the skate, and here's a sampling of what he had to say:

On owing the Avalanche: "That's the way I look at it. I thought we played well in Colorado, and we let it slip away. We need to be better here tonight to end the season series 1-1."

On playing rested against a team that played last night: "We need to be good here tonight against a team that played last night. I expect us to get off to a good start, and that will be our focus."

On the advantage of video having already played Colorado: "It's much more comforting having already played them. We can go back and cross-reference what has changed and what hasn't changed. We like to use a lot of head-to-head clips, and we'll be able to use head-to-head clips now that we've played them once. We'll definitely use some clips from last night, too."

On match-ups at home: "It changes everything. We're at home, and we dictate what's going to happen match-up-wise. We'll see what they do with their lines. ... I like our roster a lot better ow than when we were in Denver."



CANES RETURN HOME FOR PAIR OF CROSS-CONFERENCE GAMES
6:00 a.m.

AVALANCHE vs. HURRICANES
Avalanche vs. Hurricanes
PNC ARENA | 7 p.m.
TV: SPORTSOUTH | RADIO: 99.9 FM
ARTICLES
WHAT CANES SAY ABOUT ALL-STAR FAULK
FAULK GETS ALL-STAR NOD
VIDEOS
RINK REPORT: JAN. 12
GAMEDAY LINKS
BUY TICKETS
TEACHER APPRECIATION NIGHT
SPORTSOUTH CHANNEL INFO
IN-GAME TWITTER
FIRST GOAL CONTEST
With four games remaining before the 2015 NHL All-Star break, the Carolina Hurricanes are returning home for a pair of games against Western Conference opponents.

First up is the Colorado Avalanche, a team that defeated the Canes 4-3 on Nov. 22. That game was especially disappointing for the Hurricanes, considering they saw a 3-1 first-period lead dissipate in regulation.

“The start was good but after that we didn’t generate nearly as much or hang around with the puck much,” head coach Bill Peters said after that game. “It looked like we had trouble making plays.”

A cursory glance at the Hurricanes’ most recent game, a 5-4 shootout loss in St. Louis on Saturday night, might yield similar conclusions: a 3-1 first-period lead evaporates in regulation after the home team storms back.

But it was different in execution and result.

“I liked the way we played. We never trailed. We scored four times,” Peters said. “Way more positives than negatives, and things are going in the right direction. You go into Scottrade Center and get a point, and you’ve got to be pretty happy.”

Carolina wants to the momentum of earning points in four of their first five games of the New Year into tonight’s rematch with Colorado.

“We’ve played them both once already and lost to both teams, so we want to get that squared up,” Peters said of the home match-ups this week. “More importantly, we want to play the right way. We want to be efficient tomorrow, and I expect a real good and high-paced game. I expect us to be a puck-possession-type team to make it hard on Colorado.”

The Avalanche visit Carolina a night after dropping a 2-1 decision in Washington in the first game of a five-game road trip. Prior to Monday night’s game, Colorado was winners of four of five to begin 2015.

The Canes’ penalty kill continues to be red hot, and now it is franchise record-setting. The team has now gone 10 games without allowing a power-play goal, a new franchise best that eclipses the previous record of nine games set in the 1983-84 season. During this stretch, the Canes have successfully killed 27 consecutive penalties. Carolina ranks fourth in the NHL on the penalty kill at 86.7 percent.

“I think we’ve been disciplined. We haven’t given the opposition a ton of power plays, which is important,” Peters said. “Goaltending, you start there with your penalty kill, and we’ve had timely saves when we’ve needed them. The structure up-ice and in-zone has been very good and needs to continue.”

NOTES: Eric Staal has points in three straight games (3g, 1a), and he has scored a goal in six of his last seven games. …  The Canes have won four straight games against the Avalanche at home. The last win for the Avs in Raleigh came on Jan. 12, 2008, a 5-4 victory.



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