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Gameday: Hurricanes at Bruins

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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BOSTON – It’s an early Saturday afternoon faceoff in Boston!

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to today’s game in one handy location. Make this a regular stop today, as we update it with notes, photos and more as puck drop draws near.

Because of the 1 p.m. faceoff, the Hurricanes will not hold a morning skate today, but check back here throughout the morning for any and all news and updates.



SEMIN, HARRISON OUT

Alexander Semin (upper body) and Jay Harrison (lower body) will not play for the Hurricanes today, according to head coach Bill Peters.

Elias Lindholm, who was held out of practice on Friday, will dress, as will Brett Bellemore, who has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury.

Faceoff is coming up in just about an hour.




CANES ROSTER NOTES

Forward Elias Lindholm and defenseman Jay Harrison did not practice on Friday. Both are questionable for today’s game in Boston.

“[Lindholm had] a little bit of a foot issue getting looked at this morning,” head coach Bill Peters said on Friday afternoon. “Hopefully it’s nothing that prevents him from playing this weekend.

“[Harrison had] a little bit of a lower-body injury in the third last night,” Peters continued. “We’ll reassess that tomorrow as well. I’d say he’s day-to-day.”

Since Lindholm did not skate in practice, the lines were shuffled a bit and were somewhat not representative of what the team might look like in Boston.

But one tweak, which was made in the third period of Thursday night’s game against Winnipeg, will likely stick: expect to see Eric Staal return to center.

“Victor (Rask) probably, when he’s playing with younger guys, looks more comfortable and doesn’t force anything,” Peters said. “When he plays with some of the veteran guys, it looks like he’s trying to force pucks into spots that aren’t available.”

Cam Ward will make his seventh start of the month. In six November games, he is 5-1-0 with a 1.49 goals-against average, a .946 save percentage and one shutout.



FIXING SLOW STARTS

Picture a group of kids at a lake on a crisp, fall day. The sun is shining and the water, inviting. Some kids test the waters by dipping their toes. Others dive headfirst, unaware of the depth or temperature.

Head coach Bill Peters said he wants his team to be the latter.

HURRICANES at BRUINS
Hurricanes at Bruins
TD GARDEN | 1 p.m.
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INFOGRAPHIC: WPG 3, CAR 1
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GAMEDAY LINKS
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FIRST GOAL CONTEST
In four straight games, the Carolina Hurricanes have looked timid in the early going. Against Columbus, Jeff Skinner got the Canes on the board in the second period following a bit of a sluggish first 20 minutes, and it would take overtime to decide that one, as Elias Lindholm scored a power-play goal to end it.

In the next three games, the Canes failed to score first. In Washington, the Canes fought back from a two-goal deficit in the third period to save a point. Zach Boychuk’s late first-period goal located the gas pedal for Carolina to speed past Calgary and extend its point streak to six games. The Canes good fortunate expired against the Jets on Thursday, as they fell 3-1.

“Some guys test the waters and then jump in,” Peters said. “We’ve got to be the team that jumps in and dives in headfirst, all 20 guys.”

In their last four games, the Hurricanes have been outshot 49-18 in first periods, including a drastic 17-3 unfavorable spread in Washington on Nov. 8. Consider that in Columbus prior to this four-game stretch, the Canes tallied 18 shots in the first period alone.

“For some reason, we just haven’t been able to get the puck to the net in the first period,” Cam Ward said after Thursday’s game. “We get better as the game goes on, but to be successful in this league, you have to play a full 60 minutes.”

“I think we just weren’t ready to play, to be honest,” Tim Gleason said on Thursday. “It showed in the first period especially.”

Peters pointed to Carolina’s inability to gets pucks deep on Thursday, saying they either tried to make plays that weren’t there or didn’t execute when there were plays to be made.

“We’re not getting pucks deep early enough in games to allow us to forecheck,” Peters said. “We’re turning pucks over in that situation, and they’re coming our way with speed. We’re on our heels and digging out.”

Diving in headfirst is going to be a key to a Canes victory on Saturday afternoon in Boston.



CANES LOOK TO GET BACK ON TRACK IN BOSTON

Despite stumbling on Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets, the Carolina Hurricanes have assembled an impressive November, going 5-1-1 and earning 11 of a possible 14 points.

But given that, they know they need a bounce-back performance this afternoon against an antsy Boston Bruins club.

“Today wasn’t good enough. We’re going to have to be sharp in practice tomorrow because we know we’re going to have a tough battle in Boston,” Cam Ward said after Thursday’s game. “We’re going to have to be ready and much better than we were tonight.”

The Canes bring a 5-7-3 record to Boston after seeing their six-game point streak snapped on Thursday night. The Bruins, meanwhile, have dropped two in a row and were outscored 11-2 by Toronto and Montreal in back-to-back nights.

“They’re a big, heavy team. … They’re going to be aggressive, no matter what,” head coach Bill Peters said. “It’s up to us to make sure we play a game to give us a chance.”

Establishing a strong start will certainly be a crucial element in the Canes’ game plan; that’s been absent in the last week of games.

“We’re not getting pucks deep early enough in games to allow us to forecheck,” Peters said. “We’re turning pucks over in that situation, and they’re coming our way with speed. We’re on our heels and digging out.”

While an exact lineup is still to be determined, expect to see Eric Staal return to his conventional center position, and Cam Ward will make his seventh start in net of the month.

Saturday’s game, a 1 p.m. faceoff, is the first in a back-to-back set. The Canes will come home to host the San Jose Sharks at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

“They’re good,” Peters said of the matinee puck drop. “No problem, especially going back-to-back and playing at home the next day, it’s actually good.”

NOTES: In three games against Boston last season, Carolina posted a 0-2-1 record. The Canes swept the four-game season series between the two teams in 2011-12, the first-ever sweep of Boston in franchise history. … Riley Nash has points (1g, 3a) in three straight games, and he is the Canes leading scorer with 12 points (4g, 8a) in 15 games. He recorded the secondary assist, his team-leading eighth of the season, on Elias Lindholm’s goal on Thursday.



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