Spend your weekend at the rink with the Canes!
This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s divisional match-up between the New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we update it with notes, video, photos and more as puck drop draws near.
We’ll have rinkside updates coming your way from the Hurricanes morning skate, which is slated for 10:30 a.m. at PNC Arena.Last updated: 4:50 p.m.
BEFORE THE FACEOFF4:50 p.m.
Setting the table for tonight's match up between the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils!
QUOTE 'EM1:00 p.m.
Head coach Bill Peters met with the media, which included Trevor, our BCBSNC Jr. Reporter, after the morning skate.On lineup changes:
"Sems' hamstring, didn't skate yesterday but skated today. He'll get treated with Pete, and we'll see where he's at. Hopefully it's nothing that's long-term, but we'll manage that. Other than that, it's the same. So then, what will happen is Nesty will go play with Chris Terry and Nasher, and Patty Dwyer will draw back in to play with J-Mac and Bugsy."On young players leaving an impression:
"They just have to do what they do. Don't try to do too much. Don't do anything where you're going to expose yourself in a negative fashion. I met with some guys here today, and there are some guys who can round some numbers up ... different types of things they can do over the next nine games. They just have to play properly. We've done that for the most part coming down the stretch, and we've got to continue to do that here all the way until the end."On tonight's match-up:
"They're playing well, in my opinion. They're a hard, big, heavy team. They clog up the neutral zone, so we have to make sure we play fast in order to get through the neutral zone and play in the offensive zone."
CANES EXPECTED LINEUP11:30 a.m.
The Hurricanes held an optional skate this morning, with 10 forwards, four defensemen and Anton Khudobin taking part. Head coach Bill Peters said there should just be one lineup change, so here's what to expect lineup-wise.
E. Staal-J. Staal-Gerbe
Alexander Semin is dealing with a hamstring issue, Peters said, and it doesn't sound like he will be in the lineup tonight.
BACK-TO-BACK SET AT HOME BEGINS AS DEVILS COME TO TOWN6:00 a.m.
The Carolina Hurricanes will cap a five-game homestand this weekend with a back-to-back set against the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins at PNC Arena.
The Hurricanes are coming off a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. 11 different players posted points in the victory, with Eric Staal leading the way with three points (1g, 2a).
“It was good. It was a different type of game,” head coach Bill Peters said after a Friday practice in Raleigh “It was weird with … as much four-on-four play as there was early … it was hard to get a flow going. I thought there were good chances both ways.”
“[Eric] was huge tonight. It’s not easy when you’ve got 10 games left, and you’re not really playing for much,” Cam Ward said. “To have him step up and lead the way he did tonight is really professional of him, and the boys rallied around it.”
Ward was a difference maker in Thursday night’s game, making 27 saves on 29 shots after serving as the back-up goaltender for five games as he recovered from a sickness.
“I know we did the right thing in getting him healthy, getting his strength back and getting him back into shape as far as playing in practice and competing,” Peters said.
Ward’s biggest save of the night came in the first period when his team led 2-1. Sidney Crosby fed David Perron with a nice cross-ice feed, and Ward sprawled out to snag the puck, which was destined for the vacant net, with his glove.
“It was an unbelievable save,” Peters said. “It was a compete, second-effort save, and it was a huge turning point in my opinion.”
The Canes will turn back to Ward tonight against New Jersey. In 25 career games against the Devils, Ward is 9-14-2 with a 2.79 goals-against average.
After winning three straight games, the Devils have lost three in a row, but they snagged a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday night. Tonight is the fourth and final meeting between the two divisional opponents; New Jersey holds a 2-0-1 advantage in the season series, with the Canes having won 2-1 in a shootout on Dec. 23.
“There are little things you can always play for, but the big thing is we have to continue to do it right and build a foundation to have something to start with next year,” Peters said.
NOTES: Victor Rask posted his 30th point of the season, an assist, on Thursday night. He has points in three straight games (1g, 2a), and he is the sixth rookie since the team’s relocation in 1997 to reach the 30-point mark. … Jordan Staal is two games shy of 600 career games played.