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Gameday: Flyers vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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Hello, 2015!

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s game between the Philadelphia Flyers 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 Metropolitan Division match-up can be found below. The Canes will hold a 10:30 a.m. morning skate at PNC Arena, so check back here then for plenty more!

Last updated: 4:30 p.m.



BEFORE THE FACEOFF
4:30 p.m.

Amber Jaye sets the table for tonight's match-up! Hear from head coach Bill Peters and captain Eric Staal.




LINEUP NOTES AND PETERS' QUOTES
11:45 a.m.

Here's what the Canes will look like tonight when they face off with Philadelphia:

E. Staal-J. Staal-Lindholm
Tlusty-Rask-Gerbe
Terry-Nash-Dwyer
Malone-McClement-Boychuk

Sekera-Faulk
Hainsey-Bellemore
Gleason-Murphy

Ward
Khudobin

Jordan Staal is expected to be back in the lineup tonight after sitting out the New Year's Eve game in Pittsburgh for precautionary reasons.

"I'm saying he's playing," head coach Bill Peters said after the morning skate.

Jeff Skinner will miss tonight's game due to flu-like symptoms, Peters said, and Zach Boychuk will draw in. Michal Jordan will be the extra on defense.

Alexander Semin won't play tonight, either, but he's getting close.

"He's got to get up to speed. He has to get on the ice. He hasn't skated much here lately," Peters said. "He's had a variety of different ailments, injuries, sicknesses and everything else. The game is moving, the league is moving and you have to be at the right speed to play."

Cam Ward is the confirmed starting goaltender for Carolina, marking his fourth consecutive start. Ward is 5-10-3 with a 3.16 goals-against average and .891 save percentage in 19 career appearances against Philadelphia.

More from Peters after this morning's skate:

On the New Year: "Turning the page. I like it."

On goals for 2015: "I think we can score more. We can be a better team than we were in the first part of the season in 2014."

On offensive chances in PIT on Dec. 31: "I thought we had good offensive looks in Pittsburgh. We've said that a lot, but more quality, grade-A's. ... Realistically, that's going to be a huge focus: the finish and the ability to finish."

On what could help team confidence: "A nice offensive explosion would be good, and then do that back-to-back or three out of four times. That would be nice."

On how the lineup dynamic changes with J. Staal in: "Night and day different. It gives you a match-up center and allows Eric to be a winger. I would expect to see a lot of Jordan against Claude Giroux tonight if it goes the way we want it to. He's a big man, but he spends a lot of time in the offensive zone, too. He's a strong man on faceoffs. This is a good faceoff time we're playing against. Giroux and Couturier take a lot of them. Now we have a guy who can answer that."

On putting the Staal brothers together on a line: "It's a line that other teams have to worry about right now. We don't have a bunch of lines where you have to go, 'Oh, we've got to shut that group down.' I think when that line gets going ... that can be a dangerous unit they have to line up against."



FLYERS VISIT RALEIGH TO BEGIN NEW YEAR
6:00 a.m.

FLYERS vs. HURRICANES
Flyers vs. Hurricanes
PNC ARENA | 7 p.m.
TV: FOX SPORTS CAROLINAS | RADIO: 99.9 FM
ARTICLES
INFOGRAPHIC: PIT 2, CAR 1
TWEETMAIL NO. 45: RAPID-FIRE EDITION
VIDEOS
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
E. STAAL STRIKES FIRST IN PIT
GAMEDAY LINKS
BUY TICKETS
IN-GAME TWITTER
FIRST GOAL CONTEST
The year is now 2015, and the Carolina Hurricanes will strive to make it more successful than 2014.

That begins tonight when the Canes host the Philadelphia Flyers for the first of three times this season.

In the first of five meetings between the two teams this season, the Flyers trounced the Canes 5-1 in Philadelphia on Dec. 13.

“There’s not a lot to take away,” head coach Bill Peters said of that game. “I thought it was over early.”

Carolina closed out 2014 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in unfortunate familiar fashion, dropping their fifth game (six, putting aside the empty-netter in a 3-1 loss to Montreal) by a score of 2-1. The Hurricanes scored just 18 goals in 14 December games (1.29 goals per game average) or 14 goals in 13 games setting aside a 4-1 victory over Toronto (1.07 goals per game average).

“We’ve got to get beyond one [goal], obviously,” Peters said on New Year’s Eve. “You’ve got to get more than one.”

But that was last year. Scoring more goals sounds like an ideal New Year’s resolution.

Defenseman Ryan Murphy was recalled to help jump-start the offense from the Canes’ own end. He played 13:32 in Pittsburgh, including nearly a minutes-worth of ice time on the power play, and recorded one shot.

After making his season debut earlier in the week against Montreal, forward Jordan Staal did not play against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was held out for precautionary reasons after not feeling right after practicing and taking the morning skate.

Cam Ward continues to give the Hurricanes a fighting chance night in and night out. He made a season-high 37 saves in a third-star performance in Pittsburgh on Dec. 31. Dating back to Nov. 1, Ward has recorded a 2.10 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage.

NOTES: Eric Staal has points in three straight games (2g, 1a) and goals in two straight. … Jiri Tlusty has assists in two straight games following his return from an upper-body injury.



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