This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s regular-season finale between the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers 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 BB&T Center for their last morning skate of the season at 11:30 a.m., and we’ll be rinkside to bring you the latest. Until then, a preview of tonight’s game is below.
Before we get to the game action: a great many thanks once again to all who made this and all of our other gameday hubs a routine stop throughout the season. It’s our continued hope that we provide you with the most complete and in-depth information possible, and we’re already looking forward to October.Last updated: 12:50 p.m.
PETERS PREGAME12:50 p.m.
I got the chance to speak with head coach Bill Peters after the Canes' final morning skate of the season. Here's what we discussed.On the last game of the season:
"I'd like to finish with a win."On the progression of his team from game 1 to 81:
"We've incorporated some new players into the lineup, and they've proven they can play. That's promising moving forward. We had some good stretches in January and February where we played some good hockey and found out some things about our team moving forward."On the status of Derek Ryan:
"He's got some further testing, but I think he's progressing well. There's a chance he might be able to play [for Charlotte] on the weekend."On what he expects out of Florida:
"They're probably going to get ready for playoffs, right? So they're going to play properly, hard and try to end the regular season in front of their fans properly and have some momentum going into the playoffs."
CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE11:35 a.m.
Brendan Woods, recalled Friday evening, joined the Canes on the ice Saturday morning in Florida. With Derek Ryan (upper body) still sidelined, defenseman Ryan Murphy will draw in on the fourth-line wing.
We'll bring you more from inside the room after the skate!
BROADCAST INFO FOR TONIGHT'S GAME11:00 a.m.
There is a bit of a unique television situation for tonight's game in that it will be on FOX Sports Carolinas or FOX Sports Southeast, depending on your provider and where you're located.
The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports Carolinas if you have DirecTV, Dish Network or AT&T U-Verse. Cable customers in Raleigh, Durham and east (Greenville, New Bern, Wilmington, etc.) can also find the game on FOX Sports Carolinas.
If you're a cable customer west of Raleigh (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte or are in South Carolina, you'll find the game on FOX Sports Southeast.
Channel information for both stations can be found here
CANES CLOSE OUT SEASON IN FLORIDA6:00 a.m.
The Carolina Hurricanes will close out the 2015-16 regular season with their first and only trip to old Southeast Division stomping grounds in Sunrise, Florida, when they face off with the Atlantic Division champion Florida Panthers.
The Hurricanes have the opportunity tonight to punctuate their 2015-16 campaign, one that’s been filled with immense growth and promise. Carolina comes into the game with 86 points, a 15-point improvement from a season ago.
“We’ve made a lot of strides, obviously. We’re one of the youngest if not the youngest team in the league. We’ve done a lot of learning and done a lot of good things,” Jordan Staal said Thursday night. “We’re going to keep trying to get better, and these young guys are only going to get better.”
The Hurricanes are coming off a 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday in their home finale, a game in which they twice had a lead.
“It was a decent start. When you score the first goal, it’s always big,” Staal said in reference to Riley Nash’s goal scored less than two minutes in on the very first shot. “I thought we lost our legs a little bit in the second. In the third period we started skating more and had a couple of chances, but it’s not easy to come back in this league.”
“The focus has to be to play the proper way,” head coach Bill Peters said after the game. “We’ve played well all year, the right way, hard and quick.”
The Panthers have the “Y” next to their team name in the standings, not only denoting a playoff berth but also a divisional championship. This marks the first time that Florida has won its division since 2011-12, when the club posted a 38-26-18 record to clinch the Southeast Division. This season, the Panthers have posted franchise records in wins (46) and have crossed the 100-point mark for the first time in franchise history (101).
The Hurricanes have been defeated by the Panthers twice already this season, 4-1 on Oct. 13 and 2-0 on Dec. 18. Florida swept the three-game season series in 2014-15.
The Hurricanes made a pair of corresponding roster moves on Friday, reassigning Patrick Brown to Charlotte in the morning and recalled Brendan Woods in the evening. Forward Derek Ryan’s status heading into Saturday’s finale is uncertain after he left Thursday’s game in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return.CANESPR NOTES:
The Hurricanes have earned at least a point in 13 of the last 23 meetings with the Panthers, and they’ve won 12 of the last 27. … The Hurricanes are a game over hockey .500 on the road this season at 16-15-9.
is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.Email