– The Carolina Hurricanes roll into the Mile High City to finish a three-game road swing out West!
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 notes, photos and more as the day rolls on.
The Hurricanes will be on the ice at Pepsi Center for an 11:30 a.m. local time morning skate. Check back here for updates leading up to the 9 p.m. EST puck drop!
I spoke with head coach Bill Peters after the morning skate, and here's some of what he had to say.On Andrej Nestrasil playing with Nash and Gerbe:
"I know we have to get him in the lineup. We claimed him on waivers for a reason, so we're going to play him here tonight and evaluate him from there. It's a line that has a real good chance to be effective. … It gives us a nice balance of skill, size and speed.”On if Nestrasil will see any power play time:
"Not tonight, I wouldn’t think. We haven’t had an opportunity to spend any time with it, so at some point I would think we’ll see him on the power play. I know he’s capable of that, but it’s probably too soon.”On surrounding Victor Rask with two goal scorers in Skinner and Semin:
"It should be a good line. Victor makes plays. … If Sems and Skinny are working hard away from the puck, they should be able to find some open ice and make some plays. The challenge for that line will be to be good in all three zones. They’ve got to be good defensively in order to generate their chances, and if they do that, they should be a dangerous unit.”On returning to play in an old building, as Jay McClement, John-Michael Liles and Brad Malone will do tonight:
"You should be excited about the opportunity to play in front of friends and family. Any time you get a chance to do that, guys usually play well, and I expect those three guys to play well.”
CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
Here's what the Canes looked like in the morning skate at Pepsi Center:
Per the line rushes, it appears Zach Boychuk, Chris Terry and Jay Harrison will be healthy extras.
We'll confirm that and more after the skate.
NESTRASIL EXCITED TO JOIN CANES
It was just before noon in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday. The city’s American Hockey League team, the Griffins, was preparing to bus to Lake Erie, Cleveland, for a Friday night tilt against the Monsters.
Andrej Nestrasil was among the group.
“It was either clear waivers and jump on the bus to go to Lake Erie with the Griffins or keep the bag and go somewhere else,” he said. “At 12:01 I got the news, and I was really excited about that.”
The news: Nestrasil would hang onto his bag and head to Denver, Colorado, to meet the Carolina Hurricanes, who claimed the 23-year-old forward on waivers, edging out other reported suitors due to their position in the standings.FULL STORY ›
CANES, AVS CLASH IN DENVER
Before this road trip began, there were two cities in which the Carolina Hurricanes had not won since becoming the Hurricanes.
Following the team’s 6-4 win in Dallas on Tuesday night, just one city remains: Denver.
The Carolina franchise has not won in Denver since Feb. 9, 1996, a 3-2 Hartford victory at McNichols Arena. The Canes are 0-7-1 at Pepsi Center since it opened in 1999.
The Hurricanes are 1-1-0 thus far on their five-game road trip, which includes this three-game segment out West; Carolina was edged by Los Angeles on Thursday, 3-2.
"They did a good job in the first two periods of getting on the forecheck and really making it difficult for us to get out of our end," Eric Staal said. "It was a close game, but just not quite enough."
In 136 all-time meetings between the two franchises, the Hurricanes have netted 420 goals, the fifth-highest goals-for total for Carolina versus another team.
Joining the Canes’ forward corps tonight will be Andrej Nestrasil, who was claimed on waivers by Carolina on Thursday.
“He’s heavy on the puck. He hangs onto it, and he has a good skill set. He’s comfortable as a left-hand shot playing the right wing, and he’s pretty versatile,” head coach Bill Peters said. “He can play on the power play. He’s worked real hard in the last 12-18 months to get himself strong enough to be an NHL player on a consistent basis.”
Nestrasil practiced with the Hurricanes on Friday, skating on the right wing alongside Riley Nash and Nathan Gerbe.
“I’m really happy [Detroit] gave me an opportunity to make the NHL and play in the NHL, but on the other hand, when someone claims you on waivers, you’re probably wanted,” Nestrasil said. “They want you to be here, which makes me feel more comfortable to play. I was really excited.”
NOTES: Eric Staal (3g, 1a) and Jeff Skinner (2g, 1a) both have points in two straight games. … Justin Faulk is expected to play in his 200th NHL game in Colorado. … Forwards Brad Malone and Jay McClement each spent time with Colorado in previous seasons.