This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s match-up featuring the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils 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 is below. The Hurricanes will be on the ice at Prudential Center for an 11:30 a.m. morning skate and an important one at that, with a new look among the lineup. We’ll be rinkside to bring you updates then.Last updated: 5:25 p.m.
RYAN TAKES UNCONVENTIONAL PATH TO NHL5:25 p.m.
There isn’t a single, defined roadmap for making it to the National Hockey League.
Some paths are rather winding, as a player grinds his way through minor leagues, looking to catch a pair of eyes that will lead him to the show. Some paths are more direct, a high-profile draft pick jumping straight into the NHL as a teenager. Most who dream of it don’t even get to experience the NHL at all.
So for Derek Ryan, the long road filled with question marks and uncertainty makes the end result – his NHL debut with the Carolina Hurricanes at age 29 – all the more memorable.
“It’s the moment every kid dreams of when they’re playing hockey growing up,” he said after the Hurricanes morning skate. “It’s pretty amazing. I definitely feel extremely blessed and excited for the opportunity. It’s unbelievable.”FULL STORY >
PETERS PREGAME1:10 p.m.
Head coach Bill Peters met with the media in New Jersey after the team's morning skate. He confirmed that Eddie Lack would start for the Canes in net and touched a bit on his new-look lineup. Here's a sampling of what he had to say.On the deadline and moves that were made:
"It takes time. You just don’t play your next game and everything is right back to where it was. That’s not how it works. When you remove your captain from your locker room, it takes time. We don’t want it to take too long. ... We’re going to coach the same way and prepare the same way. We’re going to have the same expectations. It’s all about work ethic. It’s not like we’re going to allow guys to go out there and not play hard."On the mindset of his team:
"We’ve talked to all our guys in snippets, but it’s been quick. ... We’ll get a real good indication on how they play tonight and how passionate they are with their play."On the goaltending plan in the final 18 games of the season:
"We’ll figure it out as we go. We rode Cam real hard coming into the trade deadline, and now we’ll have to come up with another plan as we move forward."On if he believes the Hurricanes will win sooner rather than later:
"Yeah, tonight."On the future of the franchise:
"We’re going to turn the corner quicker than people think. ... There’s a good plan in place, and I buy in 100 percent. I like what we’ve done."
CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE11:50 a.m.
Here's how the new-look Hurricanes squad lined up at their morning skate on Tuesday.
What you'll notice about the lineup above, other than it looking markedly different from a week ago, is its infusion of youth. At 34, Ron Hainsey is the oldest player who will dress tonight. Derek Ryan, 29, is the oldest forward – and he will be making his NHL debut.
More from inside the room in just a bit!
NESTRASIL OUT FOR SEASON11:00 a.m.
The Hurricanes announced today that forward Andrej Nestrasil will miss the remainder of the 2015-16 season with a fractured vertebra. The 25-year-old Czech forward posted career highs in games played (55), goals (9), assists (14) and points (23) this season. He recorded 14 points (4g, 10a) in 20 games from Jan. 8-Feb. 23.
More on Nestrasil here
NEW-LOOK CANES TRAVEL TO NEW JERSEY6:00 a.m.
The Carolina Hurricanes open March on the road in New Jersey, and they will ice a vastly different squad than was seen on Sunday in Raleigh.
Prior to Sunday’s game, captain Eric Staal was dealt to the New York Rangers. Later that night, Kris Versteeg was traded to Los Angeles. Prior to Monday’s trade deadline, John-Michael Liles was sent to Boston.
Enter Brock McGinn, Derek Ryan and Ryan Murphy, who were recalled Monday night to replace the three veteran departees. This marks Ryan first call-up to the NHL.
“When you lose a guy like Eric, it’s a big void,” said Canes General Manager Ron Francis in a deadline-day press conference. “But we’ve got a lot of young players – Jordan included – and it’s an opportunity for them to take another step forward and assume more of that leadership role and steer the ship in the direction they and we want it to go.”
The Hurricanes will again be without the services of Justin Faulk (lower body) and Jay McClement (upper body), both of whom did not travel to New Jersey. The Canes are also expecting to hear soon on the extent of Andrej Nestrasil’s upper-body injury.
The result will be an incredibly young lineup with Ron Hainsey, at age 34, registering as the elder statesman. The oldest forward to dress will likely be Ryan at age 29 – and he’s never played in an NHL game.
“Age is a number,” Francis said. “If you get the right piece, the right player, it doesn’t matter if they’re young or older, they can contribute to success.”
Just 18 games remain in the 2015-16 regular season. The Hurricanes have a 14-game slate in March, with nine games being played on the road. Even though the team’s playoff chances have plummeted to incredibly slim odds in the last handful of days, don’t expect to see the Hurricanes roll over down the stretch.
“I still believe in the guys in the locker room,” Francis said. “I know they’re not going to quit; they are going to keep battling, and I wouldn’t put it against them to continue to surprise people down the stretch.”
The Devils are in somewhat of a similar boat to the Hurricanes. They lost two straight to end February and have won just one of their last six games, as their playoff hopes also continue to be dashed.CANESPR NOTES:
Jeff Skinner skated in his 400th career NHL game on Sunday, recording a goal, an assist and a team-high eight shots in the process. … New Jersey has won seven of the last 12 meetings between the two teams at Prudential Center, including a 3-2 decision on Dec. 29.
is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.Email