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Gameday: Hurricanes at Penguins

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
PITTSBURGH – Who else seen the leprechaun? Say yeah!


This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s Metropolitan Division showdown between the Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins 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 hold an 11:30 a.m. morning skate at CONSOL Energy Center, and we’ll be there with rinkside updates. Until then, a preview of tonight’s contest is below.

Last updated: 2:30 p.m.



CARRICK REASSIGNED TO CHARLOTTE
2:30 p.m.

As noted by head coach Bill Peters earlier today, defenseman Trevor Carrick has been reassigned to Charlotte.

Here's what I wrote yesterday about Carrick's NHL debut in Washington, perhaps a bit different from the usual debut story.



CANES ROSTER NOTES AND PETERS QUOTES
12:15 p.m.

Ron Hainsey will draw back into the lineup tonight after missing Tuesday's game in Washington with an illness, according to head coach Bill Peters. A corresponding roster move will be made in sending Trevor Carrick back to Charlotte for their game in Milwaukee on Friday.

"We want to get him back there. They're in a dogfight to get into the playoffs in the American League, and we want their lineup to be as strong as possible," Peters said.

Eddie Lack will get the start in net for the Hurricanes, his second consecutive start. He made 29 saves on 31 shots in Washington on Tuesday.

Nordstrom-Staal-Lindholm
Skinner-Rask-Di Giuseppe
Terry-Nash-Gerbe
Malone-McClement-Sutter

Slavin-Hainsey
Hanifin-Pesce
Jordan-Murphy

Lack
Ward

Here's more from the head coach.

On what he expects from tonight's match-up: "Our game in Washington was a 1-1 game. Their game against the Islanders was a 1-1 game. The teams are playing very hard right now, very desperate for points. There's not a lot of room. We're going to do what we can. ... I expect a real competitive game and a close game."

On the keys to victory tonight: "We've got to play faster than we have. Our game has slowed down a little bit, and we've got to make sure we're getting back to having some tempo to our game and execution coming out of the D-zone so we can get through the neutral zone with speed, spend a little more time in the offensive zone and be a little more dangerous off the rush."



CANES FACE BIG DIVISIONAL TILT IN PITTSBURGH
6:00 a.m.

HURRICANES at PENGUINS
Hurricanes at Penguins
CONSOL ENERGY CENTER | 7 p.m.
TV: FOX SPORTS CAROLINAS | RADIO: 99.9 FM
ARTICLES
CARRICK JUMPS RIGHT IN
ONSIDE OR OFFSIDE?
RECAP: CANES LOSE ON CONTROVERSIAL CALL
VIDEOS
HIGHLIGHTS: WSH 2, CAR 1 (OT)
MARCH MADNESS PICKS
GAMEDAY LINKS
2016-17 SEASON TICKETS
30 PRIZE GIVEAWAY
IN-GAME TWITTER
FIRST GOAL CONTEST
With the Carolina Hurricanes scratching and clawing to remain in the playoff hunt, tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team they are chasing in the standings, is virtually a must-win contest.

The Hurricanes sit five points out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with just 12 games remaining in the season. The deck is certainly stacked against them, but the team has collected points in six straight games since the trade deadline (3-0-3).

The Hurricanes’ Tuesday night match-up in Washington required overtime to settle a 1-1 deadlock, a franchise record fifth consecutive game that went to overtime. It ended on a controversial call, spoiling an otherwise commendable effort from an extremely young squad against the NHL’s best team.

“I thought we started a little bit sluggish. … The quality and caliber play on our behalf picked up, and I thought in the third we were right there. I thought we had some good looks, and to get a point is obviously huge,” head coach Bill Peters said after practice in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. “I would have liked to have seen that game continue to possibly be able to get two. That wasn’t the case, so we’ll flush it and move on.”

For the fifth and final time this season, the Hurricanes will face off with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The two teams have split the season series thus far, the Canes posting a 2-1-1 record in those games.

“We know what they’re all about,” Peters said. “They’ve been very successful here recently. We’ll have our hands full like we do each and every night, but we’ll come to play hard.”

Expect the Hurricanes’ forward lines to remain consistent from Tuesday’s game. Brody Sutter skated in his first game with the Hurricanes this season, skating on the right side of Brad Malone and Jay McClement.

Defenseman Trevor Carrick made his NHL debut on Tuesday, logging 16:34 of ice time – all at even-strength – a shot, two additional shot attempts and a blocked shot.

“He played real well. He was excellent,” Peters said. “He’s got a lot of hockey player in him. He might not be the smoothest guy but he’s going to get better as he goes as far as his skating and puck-handling.”

After missing Tuesday’s game in Washington with an illness, Ron Hainsey returned to the ice for practice on Wednesday. His availability for tonight’s game is uncertain.

“We’ll see how he does. Hopefully he’s getting better,” Peters said after practice. “He was obviously good enough to skate today, so that’s a positive sign.”

CANESPR NOTES: The Hurricanes have killed off 33 of their last 36 penalties (91.7 percent). They were 1-for-1 on the kill in Washington, holding the Capitals shotless on their only power play. … The Canes own a 21-16-6 regular-season record against Pittsburgh since the start of the 2005-06 season.



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

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