– What better way to set the table for Thanksgiving than to watch a little Hurricanes hockey? Join us, won’t you?
This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s game in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we update it with notes, photos and more as the day rolls on.
The Hurricanes will not hold a morning skate, but we’ll have updates throughout the day leading up to the 7:30 p.m. puck drop at BB&T Center, so check back here for more!
WARD TO START IN NET
Canes head coach Bill Peters confirmed this morning that Cam Ward would get the start in net. In 10 November starts, Ward has posted a 2.21 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
CANES PROJECTED LINEUP
Here are the lines the Canes have used the last two days in practice. Expect to see this tonight against Florida.
This leaves Brad Malone out as the healthy extra. Chris Terry was assigned to Charlotte on a conditioning stint on Tuesday afternoon.
Jay Harrison will be the healthy extra on defense, as Michal Jordan, recalled on Tuesday morning, draws into the lineup. Brett Bellemore (lower body) was placed on injured reserve and is expected to miss 7-10 days.
CANES BACK ON ROAD IN SOUTH FLORIDA
After returning home for a couple of practice days, the Carolina Hurricanes hit the road again to continue their stretch of five straight games away from PNC Arena.
Tonight, they visit the Panthers in South Florida, a vestige of the gone-but-not-forgotten Southeast Division.
“We always looked at it as two separate trips. We went on a three-gamer, and now we have a quick, two-game business trip, so it will be good to get back out playing,” head coach Bill Peters said. “It’s a real good test for us. We’re as healthy as we have been in a long time, so there is no reason not to play well. They’re important points.”
The Hurricanes have dropped five of their last six games – all one-goal losses minus the empty-net tally tacked on by San Jose in a 2-0 decision – after beginning the month with a six-game point streak.
“The last 10 games or so, we’ve been in every game. It’s just a matter of getting on the other side of those one-goal games,” Riley Nash said on Monday. "That’s the NHL nowadays: figuring out how to win those one-goal games.”
The Canes’ most recent defeat was perhaps the most stinging, as they squandered a two-goal lead in a 4-3 loss to Colorado.
“I think the day off helps. You kind of flush it a bit better … when you get to spend some time with friends and family and come back to work,” Peters said. “The work has been very good here this week. It’s disappointing the way it got away from us in Colorado, but hopefully we learn from it.”
Florida comes into tonight’s contest at 2-2-1 in their last five games, with a 6-2 win at Anaheim and a 3-2 shootout win in San Jose. They sit at 7-6-6 on the season with 20 points.
“They’re in every game,” Peters said. “They’ve got good goaltending, and they’re four lines deep. They play hard, and they’ve got good structure, so that will be a good test.”
Recalled by the Hurricanes on Tuesday, defenseman Michal Jordan will draw into the lineup. Brett Bellemore, injured in the first period in Colorado over the weekend, was placed on injured reserve and is expected to miss 7-10 days. Jay Harrison will be the healthy extra.
“We’ve got to find out if Michal Jordan can play at this level,” Peters said. “The only way to do that is put him in and play him in the situations he’s used to playing in: on the right side and on the power play.”
NOTES: Carolina swept the season series between the two teams last year. … Eric Staal (3g, 2a), Jeff Skinner (2g, 3a) and Nathan Gerbe (1g, 2a) each have points in three straight games.