– Hi, Windy City!
This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Chicago Blackhawks in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we update it with notes, photos and more as puck drop draws near.
A preview of tonight’s game, which is an 8:30 p.m. EST faceoff, can be found below. The Hurricanes will be on the ice at United Center for an 11:30 a.m. Central time morning skate, so check back here just after noon on the East coast for more!Last updated: 2:15 p.m.
HIS ICENESS2:15 p.m.
QUOTE 'EM2:00 p.m.
Head coach Bill Peters confirmed that the Hurricanes would dress the same lineup from two nights ago. Cam Ward gets the start in net, his sixth career appearance against the Blackhawks.
Defenseman Rasmus Rissanen was recalled this morning, but he won't be able to make it to Chicago for the game tonight.
Here's more from Peters.On recalling Rissanen:
"He’s going to come up and stay with us the rest of the year. I’ve got to get to know him. This is his opportunity to show us what he can do. He’ll practice with us Wednesday, and we’ll go from there. We plan on playing him and giving him a real good opportunity so we know what we have."On his impressions of Rissanen in training camp and preseason:
"We know what we think we have there, but at the time there were too many question marks among our team. I had to get to know guys better. He needs to play. He’s still a young pro, but he’s had a good year in the American League. Now he’s got to come up to play at this level and show he can do that."On his impressions of the Canes with the trade deadline approaching:
"I like our team a lot. I like our team when it’s healthy. ... Since Jan. 1, we’ve been much more consistent and have a foundation we can rely on. I’m encouraged moving forward."On moves the Canes made in the last week:
"I know Ronnie is committed to getting this thing turned around. We need more depth; we need more depth here in Carolina, and we need more depth in Charlotte. That’s what we’re going to undertake. We have to draft well, and then after that we have to develop well. Then, we have to continue to get better. It’s a process."On Jack Hillen:
"I know Jack is a good player. ... Every time he played against us he moved the puck and was effective. ... He knows how to play, so we don’t have to worry about that."On re-signing Jay McClement:
"One less hole to fill. We have some holes; we’re not naïve, we know that. If we weren’t to sign J-Mac, we’d have to go find a fourth-line center, and now we don’t have to do that. He’s earned the two-year deal. He’s been excellent for us, and he’s a real good pro."On the opposition:
"I expect them to have all kinds of jump. They’ll be excited. It’s a great building to play in with the best national anthem in the sport. ... Vertmette and Timonen will be good additions. ... We’ll have our hands full, but we’re looking forward to it."
CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE12:50 p.m.
Based on the morning skate, the Hurricanes will ice the same lineup they utilized in a 5-3 victory in New York. As a refresher, here are the lines.
E. Staal-J. Staal-Semin
We'll have plenty more from inside the locker room in just a bit!
CANES BRING THREE-GAME WINNING STREAK TO CHICAGO6:00 a.m.
The Carolina Hurricanes enter the penultimate month of the 2014-15 regular season with a three-game winning streak, having defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals and New York Islanders, all teams currently in or vying for a playoff spot. Now, in the first of 15 games in the month of March, the Hurricanes face the Chicago Blackhawks in the first of two meetings this season.
The Canes come into tonight’s match-up off a 5-3 defeat of the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Islanders on Saturday. In that game, Jay McClement netted his fifth and sixth goals of the season, Andrej Nestrasil posted two assists and 10 other players recorded at least a point in the Canes’ first win over the Islanders this season.
"It's a huge win for us, especially when it's back-to-back," Nestrasil said after the game. "We played two good teams and won both games."
"We had a good week, obviously. It was a good back-to-back," head coach Bill Peters said. "The effort was good."
Carolina has won three straight and six of their last 10 games. They sit in 14th in the Eastern Conference at 24-30-7 with 55 points. Chicago occupies the third playoff spot in the Central Division at 37-21-5 with 79 points, but they are just 4-3-3 in their last 10 games; after beating Florida in back-to-back games, Chicago was shut out by Tampa Bay, 4-0.
The NHL’s trade deadline looms at 2:00 p.m. Central time. The Hurricanes have already dealt forward Jiri Tlusty and defensemen Andrej Sekera and Tim Gleason. Carolina signed McClement to a two-year contract extension on Sunday morning. The Blackhawks acquired Kimmo Timonen from Philadelphia and Antoine Vermette from Arizona, and both are expected to make their debuts with Chicago tonight.
Cam Ward has won four straight starts. He made 21 saves in Saturday night’s victory over the Islanders, his 501st career appearance and 241st win. Ward is 3-0-2 with a 1.17 goals-against average and two shutouts in five career appearances versus Chicago.
NOTES: The Canes have earned at least a point in 12 of their last 14 games against Chicago. … Jeff Skinner has points in four straight games (3g, 1a), and Justin Faulk has points in three straight (2g. 2a). Andrej Nestrail, Nathan Gerbe and Victor Rask each have points in two straight games.