It’s a new month, and the Carolina Hurricanes are looking for a new beginning.
This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s game in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we update it with line combinations, roster notes, videos, photos and more as the day rolls on.
A projected lineup and a quick preview of tonight’s game can be found below. The Canes will be on the ice for a 10:30 a.m. morning skate, so check back here throughout the day for more!
BEFORE THE FACEOFF
Oh, look. Here I am on camera again. You'll see this in the building tonight, as always, but here it is early, as we set the table for Coyotes vs. Canes.
CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
The Canes remained consistent with their forward groupings in the morning skate.
Alexander Semin will be a healthy scratch.
Now for the defensive pairs.
John-Michael Liles is the healthy extra on defense.
Cam Ward will make his fifth start of the season in net.
Today is the official start of Movember, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will hold a celebrity shave-down event outside of PNC Arena prior to tonight's game. Additional details and a link to donate to the Canes team can be found here
I went inside the locker room yesterday to preview Movember with Justin Faulk, Jiri Tlusty and Anton Khudobin.
CANES PROJECTED LINEUP
Based on line rushes in practice on Friday, this is what we expect to see up front tonight.
With Nathan Gerbe and Patrick Dwyer returning to the lineup, Alexander Semin was on the outside looking in in practice on Friday, and he is not expected to play.
Ryan Murphy was assigned to Charlotte on Wednesday, leaving the Canes with seven healthy defensemen: Sekera, Faulk, Gleason, Liles, Hainsey, Harrison and Bellemore.
There was no word on who would start in net; that will come after the morning skate.
After going winless in eight games in the month of October, the Carolina Hurricanes will be looking to begin November much differently.
It’s a new month, and a clean slate.
“We’ve got to get the first one and go from there. The longer it goes, the harder it becomes. There’s lots of hockey left to be played,” head coach Bill Peters said after practice on Thursday. “The guys have been good. They’re mentally strong. Are we fragile at times? We probably are; that’s human nature. But we’ve got to overcome that.”
The Canes are returning home from a five-game road swing that included four games in Western Canada, and they haven’t played a game at PNC Arena since Tuesday, Oct. 14. Saturday’s tilt against the Arizona Coyotes is the first of a back-to-back situation that sees the Los Angeles Kings come to town on Sunday for a 5 p.m. faceoff.
“We’ve got to play hard, play intelligently and get off to a good start,” Peters said on Friday. “I’d like to play with a lead. I’d like to have the lead for more than five minutes, you know what I mean? So we’ve got to get off to a good start and play the game properly.”
For the first time in the 2014-15 regular season, the Canes will ice nearly a full complement of healthy regulars. Eric Staal returned to the lineup on Tuesday in Vancouver and was the team’s best player. Patrick Dwyer and Nathan Gerbe will draw back in this weekend after missing six games and four games, respectively, with lower-body ailments.
“I expect Patty Dwyer and Nathan Gerbe to have an impact similar to what Eric Staal did in Vancouver,” Peters said. “Staalsy had a good impact on our game and on our team.”
With Gerbe and Dwyer back in the lineup, Brody Sutter was reassigned to Charlotte on Wednesday. Alexander Semin is expected to be a healthy extra on Saturday.
“I made the decision. It’s a decision that I think is best for the individual and for the team,” Peters said. “We want Sems to be a part of it. We want Sems to be a big part of it. We want him to play the game hard, properly and with pace and live up to his ability and his potential. So in order to do that, you’ve got to put the work in and be mentally and physically engaged with what you’re doing.”
NOTES: Jeff Skinner and Jiri Tlusty each have points (1g, 1a) in their last two games. … Tim Gleason is one game shy of his 500th game in a Hurricanes sweater. The 31-year-old defenseman has logged 663 career NHL games.