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Gameday: Canadiens vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Closing time.


This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s home finale featuring 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.

As always, we’ll be posted up rinkside at PNC Are for the Hurricanes’ 10:30 a.m. morning skate, and live updates will follow. Until then, a preview of tonight’s tilt is below.

Last updated: 3:10 p.m.



BEFORE THE FACEOFF
3:10 p.m.

Michelle McMahon sets the table for tonight's Habs-Canes match-up.



PETERS: PREGAME
12:25 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters met with the gathered media in Raleigh after his team's final home morning skate of the season. Here are some highlights.

On Tuesday's game in Boston: "I thought we were real good early. We did a good job, but they got us on our heels early in the second period. We responded to that and played solid throughout. I liked the fact that we had Lindy in the middle. I thought he played very well there, and we'll leave him there again tonight."

On the last two games of the season: "We want to win both, obviously. We want to finish and play hard in front of our fans here tonight. ... We've got things to play for. We've got some guys who can round out some numbers. ... There's lots to play for. We want to keep doing good things and get a fair evaluation on players and where they're playing."

On what he's been happiest about in the second half of the season: "Just the continued growth of our overall group. All of our young guys, we talk about our D a lot, our young D, and they've all continued to play well. Our forwards, too.

On Cam Ward's status moving forward: "How good was he in Boston? Outstanding. So he's earned the opportunity to play again tonight. That's all we're going to worry about."

On Jordan Staal's leadership role: "His leadership is very strong, and our leadership group is very strong. Is he going to wear the C? That I don't know. He already wears a letter for us, obviously. We'll get that figured out as we move forward and see what our team looks like. We don't need to be in a hurry to do that. We want to make sure that if we name a captain, we do it properly over time and pick the right guy. He's definitely a guy that will be in that mix."



CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
10:35 a.m.

Derek Ryan isn't yet in Raleigh, but he'll by here in time for tonight's game. Here's how the Canes lined up in the morning skate and how Ryan might figure in to the equation, assuming head coach Bill Peters and his coaching staff want another look at Elias Lindholm in the middle.

Nordstrom-Staal-Brown
Skinner-Rask-Nash
Terry-Lindholm-(Ryan?)
Gerbe-McClement-Malone

Slavin-Faulk
Hanifin-Pesce
Hainsey-Murphy

Ward
Lack

Michal Jordan will again be the healthy extra on defense. We'll confirm the above and bring you more updates from inside the room shortly.



CANES CLOSE OUT HOME SLATE AGAINST HABS
6:00 a.m.

CANADIENS vs. HURRICANES
Canadiens vs. Hurricanes
PNC ARENA | 7 p.m.
TV: FOX SPORTS CAROLINAS | RADIO: 99.9 FM
ARTICLES
TWEETMAIL NO. 102: OT AND SO & MORE
CANES REASSIGN TOLCHINSKY TO CHECKERS
RECAP: WARD, HANIFIN LEAD CANES IN SO WIN
VIDEOS
HANIFIN'S SHOOTOUT WINNER
HIGHLIGHTS: CAR 2, BOS 1 (SO)
GAMEDAY LINKS
BUY TICKETS
50/50 RAFFLE: CASH GRAND PRIZE
SOUTH PLAZA PARTY
IN-GAME TWITTER
FIRST GOAL CONTEST
2016-17 SEASON TICKETS
30 PRIZE GIVEAWAY
Six periods of regulation hockey remain for the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2015-16 regular season, and tonight they host the Montreal Canadiens in their home finale.

The Hurricanes have compiled a 19-14-7 record in 40 home games, a stretch that features the most wins at home for the team since 2011-12 and includes a 3-2 win over the Canadiens on Dec. 5. From that game to today, the Hurricanes are 27-16-11 and have climbed from 30th to 18th in the league standings.

And even though playoffs are a mathematical impossibility at this stage, every game remains just as significant as the last.

“I think it’s a meaningful game,” head coach Bill Peters said of his team’s win on Tuesday in Boston. “So is game 81. So is game 82.”

Playing the role of spoiler, the Hurricanes defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 in a shootout on Tuesday night. Jaccob Slavin scored the team’s lone goal in regulation, Noah Hanifin potted the game-deciding goal in the shootout and Cam Ward earned first-star honors with 35 saves.

“We knew coming into the game how important it was for the Bruins, and unfortunately we’re in the situation that we can’t make the playoffs but we’re in a situation where we can play spoiler, and that was motivation for me to come in and play a strong game,” Ward said. “I wanted to treat it as a playoff game because of what we were trying to do.”

Against a Montreal team that has plummeted in the standings since that meeting on Dec. 5, there’s not much standings-wise for the Canes to spoil. But that doesn’t mean the team won’t be ready to compete.

“We want to show fight. Just because we’re not going to make the playoffs doesn’t mean we can’t show character,” Noah Hanifin said Tuesday night. “One of our goals right now is to finish the season strong. We don’t want to go into the offseason down at all.”

Goaltender Charlie Lindgren will make his NHL debut in net for the Canadiens tonight, the team announced on Wednesday. Montreal lost consecutive games to the Florida Panthers to begin April but won three of five games to close out March.

Riley Nash returned from an upper-body injury on Tuesday. As has been the case in the last couple of weeks, the Hurricanes will likely need to recall a forward from Charlotte to fill out their forward lines.

CANESPR NOTES: The Hurricanes have tallied 86 points in 80 games this season, their highest points total since the 2010-11 season (91 points) and already a 15-point improvement over last season (71). … Jeff Skinner has tallied 50 points (28g, 22a) for the third time in his career. He remains two goals shy of hitting 30 for the third time in his career.



Michael Smith
MICHAEL SMITH is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.

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