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Gameday: Hurricanes at Blues

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
ST. LOUIS – The Canes’ dads take St. Louis!


This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s cross-conference match-up between the Carolina Hurricanes and St. Louis Blues 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.

The Hurricanes will hold an 11:30 a.m. Central time morning skate, and we’ll be rinkside to bring you updates. Until then, you’ll find a preview of tonight’s game below.

And since this is the team’s annual dads trip, check out our running blog documenting the occasion here.

Last updated: 7:00 p.m.



CHANNEL FINDER
7:00 p.m.

Tonight's Canes-Blues game can be found on FOX Sports Southeast. This channel isn't typically included in standard television packages, but often times an alternate channel is created in order to televise the event. Here is a quick rundown of channel information.
  • Time Warner Cable (Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, Greensboro) – Ch. 325
  • DirecTV – Ch. 646-4
  • AT&T Uverse – Ch. 726 / 1726
  • Atlantic Telephone – Ch. 270
  • Suddenlink – Ch. 121
  • Mediacom – Ch. 16
  • Dish Network – Ch. 448 / 9518
More information on this and other broadcasts can be found here.



PETERS PREGAME
2:00 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters confirmed that Eddie Lack will start in net tonight for the Hurricanes. Lack is a perfect 5-0-0 with a 1.74 goals-against average in his career against St. Louis. That, of course, factored in to the coaching staff's decision, Peters said, but it's also a chance to use both goaltenders in this busy stretch of hockey.

"We expect him to be solid here tonight. He’s been real good for us here recently, and he needs to continue that trend," Peters said. "We’re playing a lot of hockey, and we need both goaltenders going. Wardo has been on a good run, but this is a good opportunity for Eddie to come in and beat a good team on the road."

Peters also confirmed that Brett Pesce would be good to go for tonight after the defenseman missed practice yesterday with a lower-body concern.

Here's some more of what he had to say after the morning skate.

On the chance to extend the winning streak: "You've got to keep up. ... You've got to continue to play well and go on an extended streak. There's no better time to do that than right here, right now."

On tonight's opponent: "They’re a good team and well-coached. ... When they play their style of hockey, they’re big and strong down low and they grind you in the offensive zone. We have to be efficient getting out of our zone, play quick in transition and spend time in the O-zone to make them defend."

On the fathers trip: "I think it’s outstanding. I know the guys love having them around. For the fathers, 24/7, it’s just a constant smile and a grin. They’re having a great time. ... I think it’s awesome that our organization does it, and I’m glad that we have as many dads on the trip as we do."




CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
12:30 p.m.

Not much has changed for Hurricanes and their lines. Nathan Gerbe (lower body) and Phil Di Giuseppe (concussion) are skating, but it doesn't look like they're ready to return to the lineup just yet. Meanwhile, after missing practice on Tuesday, Brett Pesce appears good to go.

Versteeg-E. Staal-Lindholm
Nordstrom-J. Staal-Nestrasil
Skinner-Rask-McGinn
Malone-McClement-Nash

Hainsey-Faulk
Liles-Pesce
Hanifin-Slavin

Lack
Ward

We'll have more updates from inside the room after the skate.



CANES LOOK TO EXTEND STREAK IN ST. LOUIS
6:00 a.m.

When they visit the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, the Carolina Hurricanes will be looking to accomplish something that has eluded them all season: string together a winning streak of more than three games.

HURRICANES at BLUES
Hurricanes at Blues
SCOTTRADE CENTER | 8 p.m.
TV: FOX SPORTS SOUTHEAST | RADIO: 99.9 FM
ARTICLES
FATHERS AND SONS TEAM UP FOR ANNUAL TRIP
FAULK HEADED BACK TO ALL-STAR WEEKEND
RECAP: SKINNER LIFTS CANES TO VICTORY IN OT
VIDEOS
POSTGAME QUOTES: JAN. 12 vs. PIT
SKINNER WINS IT IN OT
VERSTEEG'S PINBALL GOAL
GAMEDAY LINKS
BROADCAST INFORMATION
IN-GAME TWITTER
FIRST GOAL CONTEST
The Canes bring a three-game winning streak – all divisional victories – into tonight’s cross-conference match-up with an injury riddled Blues club.

After back-to-back wins against Columbus, the Hurricanes topped the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in overtime at PNC Arena on Tuesday night. Jeff Skinner had the game-deciding tally on a 4-on-3 man advantage in the extra frame, while the line of Kris Versteeg, Eric Staal and Elias Lindholm played a central role in the team’s offensive success in regulation.

In a jammed tight Eastern Conference playoff race, the win vaulted the Hurricanes to just two points out of a wild card spot. The team has won three games in a row, has earned points in six of its last seven games, is 6-2-2 in its last 10 games and is 11-5-3 in its last 19 games.

“I think our work ethic has been there each and every night away from the puck. I think from all four lines and all three sets of D we’re getting contributions,” head coach Bill Peters said after practice on Wednesday. “When we’re playing well, we’re dangerous and deep.”

The Hurricanes have their fathers along for this trip, an annual team tradition.

“It’s awesome. It’s always good to have the fathers trip. The guys are excited,” Peters said. “If you can’t play hard when your dad is there, I think you have problems. There are lots of reasons to play well, but that’s another one.”

The Blues have won two straight and have earned points in five consecutive games. With 57 points (25-14-7), they sit in third place in the Central Division, arguably the strongest of the four in the league this season.

“They’re going to be well-coached. It’s a Western Conference team that we haven’t played or seen a whole bunch on video,” Peters said. “We’ll get our heads wrapped around it on the plane, present it to our team tomorrow and go from there.”

While St. Louis is currently a bit bruised, the Canes are hoping to have a pair of players back in the very near future. Both Nathan Gerbe (lower body) and Phil Di Giuseppe (concussion) are with the team after practicing this week. Gerbe has missed the team’s last 24 games with an injury suffered prior to Thanksgiving.

“This is the first time he’s been able to actually practice with the team in a full-fledged practice,” Peters said. “I hope the reports are real good when he gets the skates off.”

Di Giuseppe has been sidelined for the last five games with a concussion.

“He’s real close,” Peters said. “We’ll make a decision on him.”

Defenseman Brett Pesce was held out of practice on Wednesday with a lower-body concern, but his status sounds probable for tonight’s contest in St. Louis.

“I think he’s available,” Peters said. “We’ll take it day-to-day, but I expect him to play.”

CANESPR NOTES: The Hurricanes have won seven of the last 13 games between the two teams, and they’ve earned at least a point in six of the last meetings against the Blues in St. Louis. … Both Hurricanes goaltenders have seen success in their careers against the Blues. Cam Ward is 5-1-3 with a 1.62 goals-against average and two shutouts in nine career games, and Eddie Lack is a perfect 5-0-0 with a 1.74 goals-against average.



Michael Smith
MICHAEL SMITH is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.

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