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Gameday: Hurricanes at Senators

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
OTTAWA – I’m pretty sure we’re on Hoth right now.


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 Ottawa Senators 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 skate at Canadian Tire Centre at 11:30 a.m., and we’ll be there to bring you rinkside updates. Until then, check out a preview for tonight’s tilt below.

Last updated: 12:50 p.m.



PETERS: PREGAME
12:50 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters met with the media in Ottawa after the team's morning skate. Here's a sampling of what was discussed.

On the Canes' recent stretch: "Our goaltending has been better. But instead of just simply saying that, our team defense and commitment to doing it right away from the puck has been better. Our young D ... have learned from some of the things they haven't seen before and it's not so new to them now."

On the push before the deadline: "Our job is to keep accumulating points. We've got eight games left until the (trade) deadline, so let's get as many points out of those 16 as we can and get them in regulation if we're playing in the conference. That's huge. These three-point games make it tough to gain ground. We know what we're up against, but we're excited about where we're at and where we're headed."

On Cam Ward's status: "He's ready to return, but I'm not going to start him here tonight. He's feeling better everyday, so we can buy him a little bit more time and then have a decision to make after tonight."



CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
11:40 a.m.

No changes to the Hurricanes lineup for tonight, it appears. They'll roll with the same group of 18 skaters listed below.

Versteeg-E. Staal-Di Giuseppe
Nordstrom-J. Staal-Nestrasil
Skinner-Rask-Lindholm
Terry-McClement-Nash

Slavin-Hainsey
Liles-Pesce
Hanifin-Jordan

Lack
Ward

Cam Ward appears to be the back up for Eddie Lack tonight. We'll have more from inside the room in just a bit.



CANES MAKE BRIEF STOP IN OTTAWA
6:00 a.m.

With 25 games remaining in the regular season, it’s as good of a time as any for the Carolina Hurricanes to be streaking.

HURRICANES at SENATORS
Hurricanes at Senators
CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE | 7:30 p.m.
TV: FOX SPORTS SOUTHEAST | RADIO: 99.9 FM
ARTICLES
TWEETMAIL NO. 96: WISNIEWSKI, WARD & ALTSHULLER
CANES REASSIGN ALTSHULLER
POWER PLAY PUSHES CANES PAST JETS
VIDEOS
RAW: BILL PETERS, FEB. 17
WISNIEWSKI RETURNS TO THE ICE
CAM WARD SKATES
GAMEDAY LINKS
BROADCAST INFO
COOL BARS: GREENVILLE
COOL BARS RAFFLE ITEMS
IN-GAME TWITTER
FIRST GOAL CONTEST
The Canes, who prior to Wednesday night’s games sit two points out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, have won two straight and have collected points in five consecutive matches.

“If you don’t get into playoff mode now, you probably don’t make the playoffs,” head coach Bill Peters said before his team departed Raleigh on Wednesday afternoon. “The teams that are on the bubble and get into playoff mode now are the ones that are going to make it, I think, and the ones that don’t get to that intensity level soon enough are going to be on the outside looking in.”

Following a shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and subsequent wins over the New York Islanders and Winnipeg Jets at home, the Hurricanes hit the road very briefly for a stop in Ottawa before returning to Raleigh for another three-game homestand.

“We’ve got to treat every game like it’s very, very important,” Peters said. “The points are invaluable. You can’t go on a losing streak, and you can’t fail to get a point or two points in games where you play well and deserve points.”

The Hurricanes certainly did play well against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, scoring twice on the power play and limiting the opponents to just eight shots through two periods en route to a 2-1 victory.

“I liked our start. I thought we started on time, and we didn’t give up much through 40. I thought we could have extended that 2-0 lead,” Peters said. “It came down to the end in a one-goal game again with 10 minutes to go. We’re comfortable and used to playing in that situation, but we’d rather not.”

Jordan Staal, who opened the scoring for the Canes, continues to be arguably the team’s best player; he has seven points (2g, 5a) in his last five games and 19 points (6g, 13a) in his last 17.

It’s a mixed bag of injury updates for the Canes, who are expecting to have goaltender Cam Ward available but will not have the services of defenseman Justin Faulk.

Ward did not dress against Winnipeg on Tuesday after suffering a lower-body injury in the second period of Saturday’s tilt against New York. Ward skated prior to and during some of the team’s limited practice on Wednesday and is traveling with the team to Ottawa. The 31-year-old netminder hasn’t suffered a regulation loss in his last nine games played (5-0-4).

“We’ll make sure he clears and nothing flares up,” Peters said of Ward. “He should be good to go, and we should be able to make a decision between him and Eddie.”

Faulk, on the other hand, is not traveling with the team and has been ruled out for this weekend’s slate of games. He did not practice on Wednesday.

“We’re going to be smart about this,” Peters said. “It’s a little longer than we thought. … He’s going to need to practice before he plays.”

The Senators snapped a three-game skid with a 2-1 shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, and they’ve won three of their last four games at the Canadian Tire Centre.

CANESPR NOTES: This marks the 14th of 16 back-to-back sets for the Hurricanes this season. Carolina has posted a 17-6-3 record in those games, including a 9-3-1 mark in the first halves and an 8-3-2 record in the back halves. … The Hurricanes have earned at least a point in 18 of their last 21 games against Ottawa, notching a 14-3-4 record in that stretch.



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

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