Well, last night was fun, wasn’t it? So let’s do it all over again tonight!
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, videos, photos and more as the day rolls on.
A quick preview of tonight’s rematch can be found below. The Hurricanes will not hold a morning skate, but we’ll deliver any and all pertinent items leading up to the 7 p.m. puck drop at PNC Arena.
CANES ICE SAME LINEUP
Head coach Bill Peters said the Hurricanes will roll with the same lineup as in Pittsburgh on Friday night with 11 forwards and seven defensemen dressed. Anton Khudobin will start in net. Zach Boychuk and Brad Malone will be the healthy extras.
BEFORE THE FACEOFF
Amber Jaye sets the stage for tonight's rematch between the Hurricanes and Penguins!
Cam Ward isn't starting tonight for the Hurricanes, but that doesn't mean we can't relive his amazing lunging stick save on Blake Comeau from last night. That save kept the game scoreless, and the Canes would grab a lead later in the period.
ROUND TWO: CANES CLASH WITH PENS
The Carolina Hurricanes snapped a three-game losing skid with a hard-fought 4-2 win over the Metropolitan Division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night.
Now, they’ll have to turn around and do it all over again.
“It’s a big game, and we know that. We have to come back with the same effort,” Eric Staal said. “You have to think they are going to be a little bit better tomorrow, and we’re going to have to match and exceed that.”
“We get right back at it,” said Cam Ward, who turned away 19 shots in his seventh victory of the season. “We’ll try to replicate what we did tonight.”
What the team did was maintain pace with the Penguins, hounding the puck in all three zones and limiting their time and space coming through the neutral zone. The result? Scoring the first goal, a rarity against a quick-starting Pittsburgh club, and having the chance to play and hold onto a lead.
“It’s a tough league to play from behind in,” head coach Bill Peters said. “Tonight we were able to stay on the right side of most pucks and do a good job.”
“We knew that we were going to need a complete effort in order to be successful against this team, and that could arguably be one of our most complete games thus far,” Ward said. “They have some highly skilled players on their end … and the best way to play against them is to make them play in their own zone. We were able to do that and frustrate them a little bit.”
Jiri Tlusty scored two goals, his team-leading ninth and 10th tallies of the season which included an empty-net, power-play goal late in the third, in the Hurricanes’ win. Patrick Dwyer also found the back of the net, and Nathan Gerbe’s power-play goal at the 3:10 mark of the third period was the difference.
“We didn’t have any lapses. It was a complete game,” Ward said. “Holding onto the lead, we still played aggressive and forced them to take some penalties.”
The Hurricanes dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen on Friday night in Pittsburgh, opting to sit Zach Boychuk and Brad Malone in favor of having a full complement of blue-liners available with “a couple of guys banged up,” as Peters said on Friday morning.
Friday night’s game marked Ward’s 22nd career appearance against Pittsburgh, and he earned his 13th win against that team. Peters said on Thursday that the plan was to use both goaltenders this weekend, so Anton Khudobin will get the start tonight at home. He is 1-1-0 with a 2.02 goals-against average in two career games against the Penguins.
NOTES: Carolina is now 3-3-0 on the front halves of back-to-back sets this season. They are currently 1-3-1 in the second games. … The Canes have earned at least one point in 14 of their last 20 home games against Pittsburgh.