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Gameday: Hurricanes at Flames

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

CALGARY - "Living in the limelight, the universal dream."

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight's game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we update it with notes, photos and more as puck drop draws near.

The Hurricanes will hold an 11:30 a.m. local time (1:30 p.m. EST) morning skate at Scotiabank Saddledome, and we'll be rinkside to bring you updates.

Last updated: 4:30 p.m.


BCBSNC TOOLS TO VICTORY
4:30 p.m.

Here are tonight's three Tools to Victory presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

1. Two Finns and a Swede

The Sebastian Aho, Elias Lindholm and Teuvo Teravainen line was dangerous in all situations during the preseason, but they've struggled to generate much 5-on-5 in the regular season. Head coach Bill Peters is rolling with that trio again tonight, but he said he won't hesitate to make some changes early if it's not working out.

2. Opportunity Knocks

I'm not sure if either of Cam Ward or Eddie Lack has cemented himself as the Hurricanes' go-to goaltender. There's an opportunity in front of Eddie Lack tonight to play well and earn another start on Saturday in Philadelphia.

3. Tighten Up

The Canes have given up a few too many freebies in their first three games. Clean up the mistakes, clamp down, play a full 60 minutes and grab a win.


PETERS: PREGAME
2:45 p.m.

Canes head coach Bill Peters spoke with the media after his team's morning skate. Here's what was discussed.

On making a couple lineup tweaks: "We wanted to get a look at everybody, and we've done that. We've got to find a way to get a win here. I've liked some segments of our games, but not all 60 or 65 minutes. We've got to find a way to play a complete game here tonight."

On inconsistency trends around the league: "It's crazy. It happened again last night. There was a big lead out in Manitoba, and all of a sudden, the next thing you know it's 5-4. The same thing happened in Philly with Chicago. There have been some wild swings of momentum throughout the league, and we've got to do a good job starting on time tonight here in this building, and then sustain it and play a complete game."

On getting Aho-Lindholm-Teravainen going offensively in 5-on-5 play: "We're going to start with them as a group tonight, and then we'll make a change if necessary. Seabass, his last game was his best game. He's still a young guy, you've got to remember that. He's played three NHL games now. He's making the adjustment to North America and the smaller rink, and I've liked the progression he's made from game to game. Teuvo has been very good on the power play. Five-on-five, he hasn't had as many looks or opportunities. If we need to shuffle the deck a little bit, we'll do that early here tonight."

On Lee Stempniak's play: "He knows how to play. … You can pencil him in between 15 and 20 every year. That's what he does. He's been a real good complement to Rask and Skinner. He's good on the bench. He talks to the guys because he's been there, done that. Just a veteran, poised player is what he is."

On tonight's opponent: "I think they're getting good contributions throughout the lineup. … To me, they're playing real well. Coming off a win, they'll be a dangerous opponent here tonight."


CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
1:35 p.m.

A couple tweaks will be made to the Canes' lineup, it appears. Viktor Stalberg will draw back in, and Martin Frk will come out. On defense, Klas Dahlbeck is back in alongside Noah Hanifin, while Jakub Nakladal sits.

Skinner-Rask-Stempniak
Nordstrom-Staal-Di Giuseppe
Aho-Lindholm-Teravainen
Bickell-McClement-Stalberg

Hainsey-Faulk
Slavin-Pesce
Hanifin-Dahlbeck

More coming from inside the Canes room shortly.


CANES MAKE FINAL STOP IN WESTERN CANADA
6:00 a.m.

The Carolina Hurricanes will make their final stop on their four of Western Canada on Thursday night when they face off with the Calgary Flames.

At 0-1-2, the Hurricanes are still searching for their first win of the young season. After dropping two straight decisions in overtime, the Canes' comeback fell just short against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday in a 3-2 loss.

"There are a lot of positive things, but there are also things we need to work on. That's why you have practice days and make sure you have good, quality meetings when you have video," head coach Bill Peters said after a Wednesday practice in Calgary. "We're no different than a lot of teams that are a little bit inconsistent right now. We've got to find some consistency to our game."

One consistent facet of the Hurricanes' game has been the stalwart play of Jeff Skinner, Victor Rask and Lee Stempniak. The trio has combined for 12 points (6g, 6a) in the team's first three games. Skinner had his best game of the season in Edmonton, and Stempniak's two tallies within 56 seconds of one another gave the Hurricanes life in the third period.

Another consistent performer has been the penalty kill, which is a near-perfect 9-for-10 in the early going.

"Those guys have done a good job. Smitty's done a good job over the last two years, and that's continued on," Peters said. "We need to build and continue adding layers to that to make sure it's finishing in the top five in the National Hockey League."

The Flames' season began with consecutive losses to the Oilers, in which they surrendered 12 goals. After a 2-1 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, the Flames notched a 4-3 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

"We got to watch them in Vancouver, and I thought they played a real solid game there," Peters said of the Flames. "They're four lines deep, and they're playing well right now. They're at home, and they're going to be feeling good about their team game coming off a win."

Peters said he's undecided on if he'll make any lineup adjustments heading into Thursday night's contest. On Wednesday, the team practiced with the same forward lines they utilized against the Oilers, and Klas Dahlbeck was back skating alongside Noah Hanifin on defense.

"We'd love to get a win here tomorrow. That's the plan: get a win and go from there," Peters said. "We get a win tomorrow, and we're at .500 after the first four games of this little six game trip."

CANESPR NOTES: The Hurricanes have not won in Calgary since December of 2002. They are 0-6-1 at the Saddledome since. … The Flames are 8-2-1 in the last 11 meetings between the two teams.


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