This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s match-up between the Montreal Canadiens 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.
A preview of tonight’s tilt is below. The Hurricanes will hold a 10:30 a.m. morning skate at their practice rink, Raleigh Center Ice, and we’ll be bringing you live updates then.Last updated: 5:15 p.m.
BEFORE THE FACEOFF5:15 p.m.
Michelle McMahon sets the table for tonight's Eastern Conference showdown between the Habs and Canes.
KIDS THESE DAYS2:30 p.m.
Go inside the locker room and hear from the trio of players recalled from Charlotte.
DI GIUSEPPE TO MAKE DEBUT AGAINST CANADIENS2:00 p.m.
Brock McGinn made it look easy. NHL debut, first shift, second shot. Goal.
No pressure, right Phil Di Giuseppe?
“Yeah, first shift. That’d be nice,” he chuckled.
Di Giuseppe will be the fifth player and second forward after McGinn to make his NHL debut for the Hurricanes this season in what is becoming a familiar tale with an infusion of talented youth in the organization.FULL STORY ›
PREGAME: PETERS12:00 p.m.
Head coach Bill Peters met with the larger-than-usual media (hi, Montreal!) after the morning skate at Raleigh Center Ice. Here's a sampling of what he had to say.On lineup changes:
"We needed a different look. We weren't happy with our effort the other night, and we need to be better."On if the changes send a message:
"We need more. To the individual, to the team, to the organization, everyone. We need more. We need better. We need more consistent compete, and we're going to look for ways to find it and be solution-based."On the call-ups:
"They've earned the opportunity to come up. Phil's been very good and consistent all year. Ginner has been up, and we're comfortable with his game. We know what we're getting out of him, and we expect him to be equally as good as when he came up the first time, if not better. He'll be a little more comfortable. We need some energy. Typically when young guys come into the lineup, they provide a youthful exuberance and energy, and that's what we need from them tonight."On veterans setting the tone:
"You'll know right away, 10 minutes into the game, whether we're engaged emotionally and physically in the game. The veterans have to lead the way."On how he wants the Canes to respond:
"The first 10 minutes are going to be huge. If you get the opportunity to finish a check in the offensive zone on the forecheck, we expect that to be finished. Our ability to skate, we're playing a team that's very quick in transition, so if we're coasting or gliding around it's not going to work."On the opposition:
"They'll be more than fine. I'm more worried about our group and what we're going to do, controlling what we can control -- that's our effort and execution."
CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE10:30 a.m.
The Carolina Hurricanes skated at Raleigh Center Ice Saturday morning. Here's how the team lined up.
Kris Versteeg, Riley Nash and Michal Jordan will be the extras. We'll have more updates from inside the room after the skate.
LOOKING TO REBOUND, CANES HOST EAST'S BEST6:00 a.m.
The Carolina Hurricanes will look to rebound from one of their poorest performances of the season when they host the Eastern Conference’s top team, the Montreal Canadiens, in the front half of a back-to-back set.
The Canes lost their third consecutive game on Thursday night in unspectacular fashion, a 5-1 decision at the hands of the New Jersey Devils. Brad Malone, who was highly praised by his teammates and head coach after the game, scored the lone goal, his second tally of the season. The message after the game: the Hurricanes have to be better.
“We needed to have more of a competitive edge to our game, and it wasn’t there to start,” Eric Staal said. “We’re not going to win like that. We’re not going to win being on our heels and not on the attack. We’ve got to get more assertive, aggressive and competitive.”
“They were quick, but for the most part, we were just flat for more or less the whole match. It wasn’t the compete level we need to win games,” Jordan Staal said. “We’ve got to show up right from the start and compete hard if we want to play in matches.”
After a day away from the rink Friday to flush that game out of their systems, the Hurricanes will get back at it tonight against the Montreal Canadiens, the first of three meetings between the two teams this season.
Montreal ranks second in the NHL with 41 points (19-5-3), buoyed by its season-opening nine-game winning streak. Though they dropped a 3-2 final to Washington on Thursday, the Canadiens have won five of their last seven games and have earned points in six. Tomas Plekanec (7g, 18a) and Max Pacioretty (13g, 12a) each have 25 points in 27 games. Former Hurricane Alexander Semin is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and has been a healthy scratch in eight games this season.
Possibly looking to shake up their lineup after Thursday night’s languid effort, the Hurricanes recalled a trio of players from Charlotte Friday evening. Forwards Brock McGinn and Phil Di Giuseppe and defenseman Jaccob Slavin join the Canes, while defenseman Ryan Murphy was reassigned to the Checkers. McGinn and Slavin have both made their NHL debuts this season, while this marks the first NHL call-up for Di Giuseppe, a second-round selection of Carolina in the 2012 NHL Draft. The 22-year-old forward ranks second among Checkers skaters in scoring with 14 points (6g, 8a) in 20 games.
“The only way you’re going to get out of a funk like that [is to] come to work, work hard and compete,” Jordan Staal said.CANESPR NOTES:
The Hurricanes are 6-5-1 at home against Montreal since the beginning of the 2008-09 season. … In this weekend’s back-to-back set, the Canes’ fifth of the season, forward Kris Versteeg is expected to skate in his 500th NHL game.
is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.Email