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Gameday: Hurricanes at Lightning

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
TAMPA BAY, Fla. – 70-some degrees and sunny? Yes, please.


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 Tampa Bay Lightning 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 be on the ice at Amalie Arena for an 11:30 a.m. morning skate, and we’ll be rinkside to bring you updates. Until then, a preview of tonight’s game can be found below.

Last updated: 2:15 p.m.



LACK GOES BLACK
2:15 p.m.

Eddie Lack will sport a new set of equipment in net tonight, and the predominant color will be black. Black pads, a black blocker and a black glove, each adorned with the Hurricanes' primary crest in some fashion.


"I just wanted to try something new. I was kind of running out of design ideas," Lack said, noting the dark color schemes on the pads of Corey Crawford, Scott Darling and Brian Elliott. "I wanted to try it."

Former NHL goaltender Kevin Weekes, who played for both the Hurricanes and Lightning during his 13-year NHL career, is known for his black pads, which featured the eyes and growling face of a panther. Lack said Weekes, a friend of his, gave him his blessing when he saw the new duds.

"I've been looking at his pads for inspiration," Lack said. "I sent it to him. He was pretty happy when he saw it."




PREGAME: PETERS
12:25 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters spoke with the media in Tampa Bay after the team's morning skate. He confirmed Eddie Lack would get the nod in net and discussed a number of other items.

On his team's work this week: "It was good to get practices. We had two real practices that we could go real hard in. I think that's going to pay off down the stretch. We had some guys that hadn't played much, so we were able to cover some stuff in system review and get some quality volume of work in on specialty teams."

On tonight's opponent: "The team is playing well, and they're playing well defensively. That's what has led to their success. They've tightened up a little bit, and they're good in transition. Their best players are their best players on most nights."

On the remainder of the season: "Our standard of play and what we believe in isn't going to deviate. We're still going to be a team that plays hard and competes."

On Lack's performance in New Jersey: "I thought he played real well. He handled the puck well and made some good decisions on when to slow the game down and keep the game alive. He's coming along in those regards."



CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
11:30 a.m.

The Hurricanes will roll with the same lineup they deployed on Tuesday night in New Jersey.

Nordstrom-J. Staal-Lindholm
Skinner-Rask-Di Giuseppe
Gerbe-Nash-Malone
McGinn-Ryan-Terry

Slavin-Hainsey
Hanifin-Pesce
Jordan-Murphy

Lack
Ward

Eddie Lack looks to be the starter in net, which would be his second consecutive outing. And, it would also mean the debut of his new black equipment. We'll have more from inside the room shortly.



CANES LOOK TO COOL OFF RED-HOT BOLTS
6:00 a.m.

HURRICANES at LIGHTNING
Hurricanes at Lightning
AMALIE ARENA | 7 p.m.
TV: FOX SPORTS CAROLINAS | RADIO: 99.9 FM
ARTICLES
CANES ADD FOUR PROSPECTS AT DEADLINE
TWEETMAIL NO. 98: PICKS, MOOD & RECOVERY
RYAN TAKES UNCONVENTIONAL ROAD TO NHL
VIDEOS
RAW: BILL PETERS, MARCH 4
RAW: DEREK RYAN, MARCH 2
GAMEDAY LINKS
IN-GAME TWITTER
FIRST GOAL CONTEST
Following a pair of practice days that sandwiched a day off, the Carolina Hurricanes are back on the road for their only trip to Tampa Bay of the season.

The Hurricanes will come face-to-face with an old Southeast Division foe in the Tampa Bay Lightning that has won eight consecutive games, tying a franchise best first established in the 2003-04 season when the team won the Stanley Cup.

Tonight marks the third and final game in the two teams’ season series. Tampa Bay has claimed victory in the first two meetings, scoring four goals in each contest.

The Bolts defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-1 on Thursday to stretch their winning streak to eight games. Six of those victories, including the last four, came on the road.

In looking to prevent the Lightning from setting a new franchise record, the Hurricanes’ gameplan is to look within.

“They key is to just play our game,” head coach Bill Peters said after Friday’s practice in Raleigh. “We’re not going to worry about what they’re on or what they’ve done. We’ll worry about playing our game, being tight defensively and getting our specialty teams dialed in so they’re successful.”

Carolina was able to accomplish all three in New Jersey on Tuesday in a 3-1 win over the Devils. Derek Ryan scored a power-play goal in his NHL debut, Joakim Nordstrom tallied the game-winner with just about 90 seconds left in the game and Eddie Lack stopped 29 shots in his first start since Feb. 18.

The Hurricanes will likely face Ben Bishop in net. Bishop leads the league with a 2.04 goals-against average and has allowed two goals in his last three starts and six goals in his last five starts, all of which are wins.

“Traffic,” Peters said as the key to sneaking one past the 6-foot-7 netminder. “Seconds, thirds. Really digging into the blue paint to make it hard on him.”

A goaltending decision has yet to be announced for the Canes, but otherwise expect to see the same group of 18 skaters that dressed in New Jersey. Forward Jay McClement returned to practice with the team on Friday but won’t be available tonight.

“I’m going to see how he made it through. He didn’t do any battle here today,” Peters said. “We’ll have a good practice Monday, so we should have a good feel.”

CANESPR NOTES: Tampa Bay has won 11 of the last 13 meetings between the clubs, outscoring the Canes 41-16 in those victories. … The Hurricanes have killed off 22 of their last 24 penalties. Their penalty kill is ranked eighth in the league at 82.6 percent.



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

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