This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s Metropolitan Division tilt featuring 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 game is below. We’ll have rinkside updates from the Hurricanes morning skate at PNC Arena right here around 10:30 a.m.Last updated: 6:40 p.m.
FAULK RETURNS6:40 p.m.
It looks like Justin Faulk is ready to go. He took line rushes in pregame warm-ups with Noah Hanifin. The other two pairs remained the same: Slavin-Hainsey and Liles-Pesce.
LINDHOLM REFLECTS ON 1994:40 p.m.
When I asked if Elias Lindholm knew tonight was his 200th career NHL game, he seemed surprised. As it turns out, Jeff Skinner informed him that would happen in Toronto on Thursday.
His 200th will happen tonight when the Hurricanes host the Flyers. Just over a year ago, Lindholm crossed over the 100 threshold. Time flies, doesn't it?
"It does. 100 every year would be nice," he said, smiling. "Then I could play a lot of games hopefully."
We then chatted for a few minutes on what his first 199 games have meant, what he's learned in that time, playing meaningful games as the Canes head down the stretch and more.On playing meaningful games down the stretch and what that means for his development:
"It's way more fun to play for a playoff spot. It's been fun. You feel like every game is huge, and we try to play as best we can every game."On the biggest thing he's learned in his career:
"Take care of your body and be a professional every day. It's so many games in such a short time, so you've got to take care of your body."On what this season has been like in terms of his growth as a player:
"It was slow in the first 20 games. I was hoping to get off to a better start, but I've been creating a lot."
BEFORE THE FACEOFF3:30 p.m.
Michelle McMahon sets the table for tonight's Metropolitan Division showdown!
PETERS: PREGAME11:55 a.m.
Head coach Bill Peters was somewhat optimistic about Justin Faulk's status for tonight, calling him a game-time decision.
"I've got my fingers crossed. If he's able to go, he'll go," Peters said. "He'll come in, get looked at by Pete (Friesen) to see if there's any swelling, soreness or tenderness and get treatment. We'll see how it reacts this afternoon."
Here's more of what Peters discussed with the media after the morning skate.On the team defense without Faulk:
"I've been happy with our whole team, really every aspect of our team game. Both goalies have been very good for a long time. Specialty teams have turned a corner."On these "big" games:
"Desperation. All these teams we're playing seem to be in and around the same spot in the standings. You come out desperate and you're battling. It'll be an intense game tonight and an important game. We look forward to it. The guys are excited about it."On the physicality in these games, especially Sunday night:
"It sounded physical. If you closed your eyes, you could hear it. Guys are going into the boards on a consistent basis on both teams. It's desperation time. It's not playoff time, but it's playoff-style hockey."On Lindholm's first 199 games in the NHL:
"His first game I was with Detroit here in this building. He was just a little, thin kid. Now he's got a little bit of man strength to him, and he's getting it figured out. He's had some life and NHL experience, and now you can see where his game is headed. ... He's definitely one of those building blocks you want to build your team around, a good foundational piece in my opinion."
CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE10:30 a.m.
Based on the Hurricanes line rushes from this morning's skate, there will be no changes made to the lineup. Defenseman Justin Faulk again skated with the team but did not take line rushes.
Versteeg-E. Staal-Di Giuseppe
We'll have more from inside the room in just a bit.
CANES CLOSE OUT SEASON SERIES AGAINST FLYERS6:00 a.m.
With their playoff lives on the line, each and every game from here to game No. 82 can be categorized as “big” for the Carolina Hurricanes.
So, here we are again tonight with another crucial two points up for grabs, against a divisional opponent no less in the Philadelphia Flyers. The Hurricanes currently lead Philadelphia by a point in the standings and trail a wild card spot by four points. It doesn’t take a mathematician to decipher the consequences of this match-up.
“This is playoff-style hockey, right?” head coach Bill Peters said on Sunday. “You’ve got to step up and play. It’s fun. It’s a great time of year.”
Carolina is again in search of a bounce-back effort after being edged by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. The Canes haven’t lost consecutive games in regulation since Dec. 3.
“We’ve been a hard-working team,” Jordan Staal said. “There’s good character in this room that’s going to find a way to keep pushing forward. We’ll move on to the next one and wake up tomorrow ready to work.”
“It’s the type of team we have, the people we have in this room,” Eric Staal said. “Guys are playing hard. This team wants to be in the mix, and you need to respond after losses.”
The Hurricanes have faced off with the Flyers thrice so far this season, this being the fourth and final meeting, and Carolina has lost each game in overtime. Shayne Gostisbehere, who ranks fifth in rookie scoring with 34 points (12g, 22a), has two of the game-winners in the extra frame.
“We know what we’re up against in Philadelphia,” Peters said. “We know what we’re up against there. We’re going to have to come up with a good plan and execute that plan.”
The Flyers topped Toronto 5-4 in overtime on Saturday and have won two of their last three games. Dating back to early January, Philadelphia is 6-3-1 in their last 10 road games.
Defenseman Justin Faulk could return to game action tonight. He’s missed the team’s last six games with a lower-body injury and last skated with the team on Sunday.CANESPR NOTES:
Jordan Staal has points in five straight games (3g, 4a) and has totaled 23 points (8g, 15a) in his last 20 games. He’s currently the team leader in points with 38 (15g, 23a). … Elias Lindholm is expected to skate in his 200th career NHL game tonight.
is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.Email