It’s the final home game before the All-Star break!
This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s game between the Vancouver Canucks 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 game can be found below. The Canes will hold a 10:30 a.m. morning skate at PNC Arena, which you can watch live via Storm Surge on CarolinaHurricanes.com
and in the Canes official mobile app
. Check back here for plenty more!Last updated: 11:45 a.m.
CANES LINEUP NOTES AND PETERS QUOTES11:45 a.m.
One minor lineup tweak for the Carolina Hurricanes tonight: Andrej Nestrasil will play in his first game since Dec. 8, as he returns from a three-game conditioning stint in Charlotte.
Brad Malone will slide out of the lineup to make room for Nestrasil. The defense, meanwhile, remains consistent.
E. Staal-J. Staal-Lindholm
Cam Ward will make his 31st start of the season in net. He has made seven career appearances against Vancouver, going 2-4-1 with a 3.29 goals-against average. Peters noted that he plans to use Anton Khudobin on Saturday night in Ottawa in a back-to-back situation.
Here's more from the head coach after this morning's skate:On what he expects out of the opposition:
"I expect them to be real good. I think they're a real good team. They're a deep team, and they can score four lines deep."On the difference in the Canes' game as of late:
"I don't think we're playing much different in the month of January than we did in the month of December. We're a different team than we were in October and November by far, but in the months of December and January, our game has been very similar. The consistent addition of Jordan in the lineup changes things. ... We're finishing off a few more plays and getting a few more bounces around the net."On swapping Nestrasil and Malone:
"It was an unbelievably tough decision. Those are the ones that are hard. That line has been very good for us for a long time. Bugsy has done everything he needs to do to stay in the lineup. He deserves to be in the lineup, and we'll get him back in."On if the Canes owe the Canucks:
"One or two. Always want to even it up. When you play teams from the Western Conference, you don't want to get swept. Nobody does. We're all competitive people. ... We want to measure ourselves tonight in how far we've come."
CANES AIM TO REMAIN PERFECT AT HOME IN JANUARY6:00 a.m.
A set of three games in four days stands between the Carolina Hurricanes and nearly a week-long All-Star break, and tonight is the last home game before that break.
The Canes host the Vancouver Canucks in the second of two meetings between the two teams this season. Carolina dropped a 4-1 decision in Vancouver on Oct. 28, the final game in what was a winless October.
Eric Staal returned to the Canes’ lineup in that game after missing five straight with an upper-body injury.
“He’s a totally different player from then to now. Obviously that was a huge addition into our lineup at the time when we were out West,” head coach Bill Peters said. “Now with Jordan coming back, that’s another huge addition. I think we’re a much different team. We watched a little bit of the video earlier today, and I think both teams are better at this stage of the season.”
The Hurricanes certainly are. They’ve earned points in five of their first six games in 2015, and they are a perfect 4-0-0 at home in the New Year.
“We like the way we’re playing, but we have to do it over a consistent, long-term basis here,” Peters said. “We’ve played well so far this month. We need to keep our foot on the gas and finish this off properly. We’re set up in a good position: we’re healthy, we’ve got some options with our lineup, both goaltenders are playing well and we’ve scored a few more goals here recently. We want to keep that going.”
Carolina brings a three-game point streak into tonight’s game, and they’re coming off a 3-2 shootout victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
The Canucks snapped a three-game losing streak last night in Philadelphia, as Ryan Miller backstopped the team to a 4-0 win. Peters and his coaching staff certainly kept a close eye on that outcome.
“We’re going to watch that game and get a feel for where they’re at,” he said after a Thursday practice. “They’re a really well-coached team, they have good pace throughout their lineup and their fourth line is an effective fourth line, so we’re going to need all four lines going tomorrow.”
Andrej Nestrasil is back in Raleigh after a three-game conditioning stint with the Charlotte Checkers. He skated on the fourth line alongside Jay McClement and Patrick Dywer in practice on Thursday.
“I wanted to make sure he was on a line today in case we want to play him tomorrow,” Peters said. “We’ll talk about it some more and make a decision tomorrow, but if he plays, that would be the logical spot for him.”
NOTES: Vancouver has won 10 of the last 13 meetings with the Hurricanes. … Ryan Murphy has points (4a) in three straight games. … The Canes have killed off 28 straight penalties in a franchise-record 10-game stretch.