– It’s the pre-All-Star finale!
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 Toronto Maple Leafs in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we updated it with notes, photos and more as puck drop draws near.
A preview of tonight’s game, which is a 7:30 p.m. faceoff, can be found below. The Canes will be on the ice at Air Canada Centre for an 11:30 a.m. morning, so check back here then for plenty more!Last updated: 12:45 p.m.
QUOTE 'EM12:45 p.m.
Head coach Bill Peters spoke with the Toronto media (and myself) after the morning skate. Here's a bit of what he had to say.On winning close games:
"We're scoring more. So these 2-1 games are now 3-1, and we want to make sure we're on the right side of the ledger."On Saturday night's win in Ottawa:
"What I liked about our team in Ottawa is we weren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but on a back-to-back we were resilient and we competed."On Eric and Jordan Staal:
"It's a good pair, obviously. The way the game is there’s not so many good lines as there are good duos. ... They're elite. I think they're hard for the other team. The other team has to plan to play against them."On the success of the fourth line:
"Jay McClement is a big part of that. He’s a good faceoff guy, and he’s a big part of the penalty kill. ... There’s no role confusion amongst those three guys. They’re heavy and quick on the forecheck. They are a template and a very good fourth line. They play valuable minutes, and we’re comfortable playing them against anybody.”On tonight's opponent:
"They’re going to be a good team tonight. They’re desperate, and they’ve got good players. It’s a good coaching staff, and they’ll get these guys turned around. I expect probably their best game of the year tonight.”
CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE11:45 a.m.
All 23 players were on the ice for the Canes' morning skate today, and it looks like head coach Bill Peters will employ the exact same lineup that defeated Ottawa 3-2 on Saturday night.
E. Staal-J. Staal-Tlusty
We'll confirm all of this with Peters following the skate.
CANES LOOK TO FINISH STRONG BEFORE BREAK6:00 a.m.
The Carolina Hurricanes will wrap up their pre-All-Star break schedule in Toronto tonight with their second of three match-ups against the Maple Leafs this season.
The Hurricanes defeated Toronto 4-1 at PNC Arena on Dec. 18, a victory that snapped a season-high six-game losing streak in which the Canes scored just one goal in each of their six losses. Four different players tallied for Carolina in that game, and Cam Ward made 25 saves.
“Being able to get up on someone early was huge,” said Justin Faulk, who potted a shorthanded goal, after the game. “It kind of went from there.”
Tonight, the two teams collide in their second meeting under different circumstances. This time, Toronto is the team struggling to find the back of the net. The Maple Leafs carry a four-game losing streak into the contest, having scored just once in their last four games.
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, defeated the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night by a score of 3-2. Carolina has earned points in six of their first eight games of the New Year.
“We came back and ended up pulling it off,” said Tim Gleason, who was awarded the fireman’s helmet after the game. “I think we came prepared and came out with the win tonight.”
“It was a good effort,” head coach Bill Peters said. “Everyone played good, valuable minutes, and we found a way.”
Anton Khudobin made 30 saves on 32 shots in his fourth consecutive win on Saturday night. He is 2-1-0 with a 2.22 goals-against average against Toronto in three career appearances. Cam Ward has played in 26 games against the Leafs, posting a 15-9-2 record and a 2.73 goals-against average.
NOTES: Jeff Skinner is expected to skate in his 300th career games. … Justin Faulk, who scored in Ottawa on Saturday, is two points shy of 100 in his career. … The Canes have posted an 11-6-2 record in Toronto since the start of the 2003-04 season.