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Gameday: Hurricanes at Bruins

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
BOSTON – And then there were three.


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 Boston Bruins 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.

We’ll be rinkside at TD Garden for the Hurricanes’ 11:30 a.m. morning skate. Until then, a preview of tonight’s game is below.

Last updated: 3:15 p.m.



LINDHOLM IN THE MIDDLE
3:15 p.m.

It's something Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters said would be coming down the stretch of the season, and tonight it's happening: the team is going to experiment with playing Elias Lindholm at center, the position at which he was drafted in 2013.

"He’s been better in every area. He’s been a real good player," Peters said after practice on Monday. "We like him where he’s at on the wing, but we want to find out a little bit in the middle."

Lindholm has played much of the last month on the right wing with Jordan Staal and Joakim Nordstrom to his left. Tonight, he'll center wingers Sergey Tolchinsky and Chris Terry, two players who have a scoring touch.

"Hopefully we can give energy to the lineup and create some chances and put one in. Terrs has an amazing shot, and Tolchinsky has a good shot, too, and likes to hang on to the puck," Lindholm said. "I'll just try to play my game, read off them and create some chances."

I told Lindholm not to sell himself short; he has a good shot, too.

"If I get an opportunity, I'll shoot it too," he said, laughing. "We are three guys who can shoot. We'll put pucks on net and see."

So, what's different about playing the middle versus being on the wing?

"It's just little things," Lindholm said. "I'll be taking more faceoffs and be a little more responsible all over the ice. Right now with the way the league is, the first guy back is playing down low."

Faceoffs, too, become a regular task. It's not a new assignment for Lindholm, who has already taken over 400 draws this season, but one in which he'll be counted on more frequently. As is the routine during the tail-end of the morning skate, Lindholm and the other centers worked with assistant coach and faceoff wizard Rod Brind'Amour.

"He's always going over details and really hard on getting better all the time," Lindholm said. "The more often you take them, the easier it gets."



PETERS ON TONIGHT'S GAME AND COACHING IN WORLDS
1:10 p.m.

The immediate focus for Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters is tonight's match-up with the Boston Bruins.

But in the not-so-distant future? It will be head coaching duties for Team Canada in the IIHF World Championship, held this year in Russia.

"It's always exciting anytime you get to represent your country," Peters said after the Canes' morning skate at TD Garden. "It's been a real good experience every time I've done it."

Peters said his Canadian coaching staff will convene in Raleigh next week after the conclusion of the regular season.

"We'll start laying down a game plan and get some thoughts," he said.

Now about tonight: the Hurricanes will match up with a Boston team that is desperate for points, sitting one point out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with three games to play. For the Hurricanes, it's business as usual.

"We've competed hard all year. I don't know why we would change that. We've got 79 games under our belts in which we've been pretty much happy with our efforts," Peters said. "I expect us to be able to finish strong."

Cam Ward gets the start in net for the Hurricanes, and the forward lines will look a bit different. Here's Peters on that and more from after the skate.

On the forward lines: "We wanted to get Lindy in the middle going down the stretch. We waited until we were mathematically eliminated to do that. ... I'm not going to commit to that for three games, but we'll leave him there tonight and have a look."

On the opportunity for Patrick Brown on a line with Staal and Nordstrom: "A deserved opportunity. He's done a real good job when he's been up. We've balanced off all four lines. We need all four lines to go, compete and give us quality minutes tonight."

On the last meeting with the Bruins in Boston: "I thought it was a real even game. I remember we had a real good power play early in which Lindy scored. It was 1-1, 2-1, 2-2 and then an overtime game-winner. ... They're going to be desperate, so our battle level is going to have to match theirs that if not exceed it."

On Noah Hanifin's rookie season: "Outstanding, really. He's been steady and done a real good job managing his time away from the rink. ... He's had a really good year and has consistently gotten better."



CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
11:35 a.m.

Riley Nash is back, and so are Patrick Brown and Sergey Tolchinsky, who were recalled from Charlotte yesterday evening.

Here's how you can expect the Hurricanes to line up tonight.

Nordstrom-Staal-Brown
Skinner-Rask-Nash
Tolchinsky-Lindholm-Terry
Gerbe-McClement-Malone

Slavin-Faulk
Hanifin-Pesce
Hainsey-Murphy

Ward
Lack

Michal Jordan looks to be the healthy extra on defense.

Coming shortly: more updates from inside the Canes' locker room!



CANES HIT ROAD TO BEGIN FINAL WEEK
6:00 a.m.

HURRICANES at BRUINS
Hurricanes at Bruins
TD GARDEN | 7 p.m.
TV: FOX SPORTS CAROLINAS | RADIO: 99.9 FM
ARTICLES
CANES RECALL BROWN, TOLCHINSKY
CANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH BISHOP
VIDEOS
RAW: BILL PETERS, APRIL 4
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF PRACTICE
GAMEDAY LINKS
2016-17 SEASON TICKETS
30 PRIZE GIVEAWAY
IN-GAME TWITTER
FIRST GOAL CONTEST
The final week of the 2015-16 regular season is upon us, and the Carolina Hurricanes have three games remaining on their schedule.

Two of the team’s last three games will be played on the road, including tonight’s tilt in Boston, the team’s second visit to Massachusetts in the last month. In that game, Phil Di Giuseppe netted the game-winning goal in overtime, keeping the Hurricanes’ postseason hopes alive, however slim they might have been.

Now, the Hurricanes have been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention for the seventh season in a row.

Head coach Bill Peters’ message to the team, he said, isn’t altered by circumstance.

“It doesn’t change and hasn’t changed,” Peters said after a Monday practice in Raleigh. “The things that we believe in and our foundation aren’t going to change from now to the end.”

The Hurricanes and Bruins have split the first two games of the three-game season series, and Boston will be hungry in the rubber match; the Bruins sit a point out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with three games to play, and they’re coming off a 6-4 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.

“They’re scoring like crazy. That scares me, obviously,” Peters said of the Bruins. “They’re desperate trying to get points to get into the playoffs. We have our work cut out for us.”

Peters said the key to victory tonight would be to replicate their effort from their 3-2 overtime victory a month ago.

“I thought we played hard,” Peters said. “We had the puck and generated our fair share of offense. We’ve got to do the same.”

Riley Nash, who has missed the last four games with an upper-body injury, is expected to return to the lineup after practicing with the team on Monday.

“As long as everything checks out good today,” Peters said. “I thought he had a good practice, and he’s worked hard to try to get back. Hopefully he’s able to.”

In the Canes’ Saturday night loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Elias Lindholm got a brief look in the middle. Tonight, Peters expects he’ll play at center for the entire game.

“He’s been better in every area. He’s been a real good player,” Peters said. “We like him where he’s at on the wing, but we want to find out a little bit in the middle.”

The Hurricanes recalled wingers Sergey Tolchinsky and Patrick Brown from Charlotte on Monday afternoon. Brown scored his first NHL goal and added an assist and Tolchinsky tallied his first NHL point in the Canes’ 4-3 win over the New York Rangers last week.

CANESPR NOTES: Jeff Skinner has points and goals in each of his last two games (2g, 1a). With 28 goals on the season, he’s within striking distance of 30 for the third time in his career. … Noah Hanifin has three points (1g, 2a) in two career games against his hometown Bruins.



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

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