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Gameday: Hurricanes at Capitals

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Let’s put a little winning streak together, shall we?


This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s Metropolitan Division match-up between the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals 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.

Important programming note: tonight’s game will be televised on FOX Sports Southeast (formerly SportSouth). This channel isn’t typically included in standard packages, but most carriers provide an overflow channel in order to broadcast the game. These channel numbers can vary on a game-to-game basis, so click here to locate your FOX Sports Southeast channel number.

A quick preview of tonight’s game can be found below. In a back-to-back situation, the Hurricanes will not skate this morning, but we’ll bring you any and all updates as they become available.

Last updated: 2:00 p.m.



BRIND’AMOUR NO STRANGER TO QUICK FIRST GOALS
3:00 p.m.

In the 1989 Stanley Cup Playoffs, a then-18-year-old Rod Brind’Amour made his NHL debut with the St. Louis Blues, who were facing the Minnesota North Stars in the first round.

In his first-career game on his first shot, Brind’Amour scored his first NHL goal. He would go on to score 50 more in 159 postseason games and 452 goals in his 1,484-game regular-season career.

Fast forward 26 years to Oct. 16, 2015, when Brind’Amour was behind the bench at Joe Louis Arena as an assistant coach for the Carolina Hurricanes. He saw Brock McGinn, in his first NHL game on his first shift – and technically his second shot, since it was a rebound – score his first-career goal.

“Number one, he had a great game, especially for his first game, that’s about as good as you can get,” Brind’Amour said. “He certainly didn’t look out of place and actually was one of the better players on the ice. It’s a great way to begin your career.”

Brind’Amour would know, having been there.

“He gets that opportunity early, and you’re just hoping that it goes in,” he said. “It’s a great memory for him and his family. It’s one of those things that you look back on forever and ever.”

What’s it like scoring your first NHL goal in your first NHL game, whether it happens on the first shift or the first shot?

“You don’t ever expect to come into the league like that, but it was definitely a lot of fun,” McGinn said after the game. “A good game, and it was fun coming out with the win, for sure.”

“It’s a great feeling. You can’t really explain it,” Brind’Amour said. “Your family is there. It’s the dream for every kid to play in the NHL, and the parents are a big part of that. Growing up, the sacrifices they make for their kids to play hockey, and then for them to be there to share it with him, it’s a great family moment.”

McGinn also posted his first-career assist on Eric Staal’s second period goal, making quick work of two career milestones and contributing in a crucial way to the team’s first two points of the season.

“It’s done. You check that off the list, and now he can move forward with trying to become an everyday player and prove himself in this league,” Brind’Amour said. “That’s something he’s got to continue to do.”



PREGAME: STAAL AND VERSTEEG
2:00 p.m.

Michelle McMahon caught up with Eric Staal and Kris Versteeg earlier today.





CANES LINEUP AND PETERS QUOTES
1:30 p.m.

The Hurricanes will ice the exact same lineup as in Detroit a night prior. As a refresher, that means:

McGinn-E. Staal-Versteeg
Gerbe-J. Staal-Nestrasil
Skinner-Rask-Lindholm
Malone-McClement-Terry

Hainsey-Faulk
Liles-Jordan
Hanifin-Murphy

Cam Ward will make his second straight start in net.

"He was good," head coach Bill Peters said of his starting goaltender. "I don’t want to mess with a winning lineup. I need somebody to get on a roll, and this is an opportunity for Wardo to get on a roll back-to-back nights coming off of a win. I thought he played well and managed the game properly. This is a chance for him to come back and do it again here today.”

Here's more of what Peters said in our conversation this morning.

On managing ice time, especially with Jeff Skinner: "It is a bit of a juggling act, and a lot of it is out of your control due to power plays and penalty kills. ... I’d like to get [Skinner's] minutes up to 16-and-a-half to 17-and-a-half on a consistent basis. He’s a goal scorer, and he needs touches. I need to make sure he’s playing enough.”

On the play of Brock McGinn: "He’s a guy I have a lot of trust and faith in. He plays well, and he plays hard. He’s a responsible guy. You look at the shot block late in the game – he’s willing to do that. He’s a courageous player. ... He’s got a good combination of compete, grit and skill.”

On tonight's opponent: "Real good team. Very deep team. They don’t give up much, and they’re skilled offensively. ... Backstrom will be a boost for them, very dangerous on the power play. And obviously Ovechkin is a guy who can beat you one-on-one, and he doesn’t need many touches to score. We’re going to have to play well and manage the puck."



CANES AIM TO BUILD ON FIRST WIN
6:00 a.m.

Playing the latter half of their first of 16 back-to-back sets this season, the Carolina Hurricanes will be looking to build off their 5-3 victory over the previously undefeated Detroit Red Wings a night prior when they take on the Washington Capitals.

HURRICANES at CAPITALS
Hurricanes at Capitals
VERIZON CENTER | 7 p.m.
TV: FOX SPORTS SOUTHEAST | RADIO: 99.9 FM
ARTICLES
RECAP: CANES TOP WINGS FOR FIRST WIN
McGINN ON PROMINENT STAGE FOR DEBUT
VIDEOS
HIGHLIGHTS: CAR 5, DET 3
McGINN SCORES FIRST GOAL ON FIRST SHIFT
GAMEDAY LINKS
FOX SPORTS SOUTHEAST CHANNEL FINDER
IN-GAME TWITTER
FIRST GOAL CONTEST
The Canes earned their first victory of the regular-season on Saturday, grabbing a lead on Detroit just 55 seconds into the game and never looking back in a 5-3 decision.

Brock McGinn gave the team that early 1-0 lead, just 55 seconds into the game and 27 seconds into his NHL debut.

“You don’t ever expect to come into the league like that, but it was definitely a lot of fun,” said McGinn, who was named the second star of the game. “A good game, and it was fun coming out with the win, for sure.”

“Not a bad start. He was great. He was on the forecheck and physical. He played his game. That’s what I’m sure they asked him to do and what I asked him to do – play his game, be tenacious, be on the forecheck, keep pucks alive in the offensive zone,” Eric Staal said of his left wing’s play. “To get us started like he did is something unbelievable, something he’ll remember forever. It was great. We needed that relief to get the first goal and go from there.”

The Hurricanes would add two more goals off the sticks of Justin Faulk, a power-play tally, and Staal to snag a 3-0 lead in the second period. Then, Detroit answered in quick succession with two of their own, and all of a sudden it was a one-goal game. Head coach Bill Peters called his timeout to settle down his group of 20.

“The timeout, there was about five minutes to go in the second period, and we wanted to make sure we got out of the period with the lead. We started the period with a one-goal lead, and we wanted to get out of it with the lead. We were able to do that,” Peters said. “What we talked about in the intermission was just staying aggressive in an intelligent fashion. Continue to play, continue to push and keep your foot on the gas, but do it intelligently.”

“We talked about how we wanted to play. I thought we settled down a lot better, especially to start the third period,” Staal said. “Guys realized that if we did the right things and competed the way we needed to get it done, we would. It was nice to be rewarded at the end of the night.”

Following a momentum-shifting penalty kill early in the third period, Kris Versteeg netted his first goal as a Hurricane, what ultimately proved to be the game-winner.

“It was a great job by our PK,” Staal said. “For us to be able to come back with a great shift, Skins made a great play and Steeger didn’t disappoint. Good release, good shot and a big momentum shift for us. It took the wind out of their sails, and we took over the rest of the way.”

The trio of McGinn, Staal and Versteeg combined for eight points (3g, 5a) in a game that featured five different goal scorers for Carolina.

“We scored. We finished,” Peters said. “For us to score five is a nice number and to get it throughout the lineup is very important.”

The Hurricanes will now look for a repeat of that effort against the Washington Capitals, who are 2-1-0 on the season, most recently having defeated Chicago 4-1.

CANESPR NOTES:
Per Elias Sports, McGinn’s goal is the fastest goal scored in an NHL debut since Alexander Mogilny scored just 20 seconds into his first game on Oct. 5, 1989. … Carolina has scored three or more goals in 21 of the last 36 meetings with the Capitals. Related, since the 2005-06 season, the Canes are 28-2-4 when scoring three or more goals against Washington.



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

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