December is upon us, and the Carolina Hurricanes will be spending some quality time at home!
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 be on the ice at PNC Arena for a 10:30 a.m. morning skate, after which we’ll have a much better idea of what the lineup might look like. Check back here for more!Last updated: 3:30 p.m.
BEFORE THE FACEOFF3:30 p.m.
Amber Jaye sets the table for tonight's match-up between the Hurricanes and Predators!
RINK REPORT2:30 p.m.
Go inside both the Hurricanes' and Predators' locker rooms after each team's morning skate.
LINEUP NOTES AND PETERS QUOTES11:30 a.m.
The Hurricanes will indeed roll with the standard outfit of 12 forwards and six defensemen when they take on the Nashville Predators tonight. Zach Boychuk will draw back into the lineup, while Jay Harrison and Brad Malone will be the healthy extras.
Cam Ward will get the start in net, his seventh career against the Predators. He's 1-4-1 in those games with a 2.98 goals-against average.
More from head coach Bill Peters as he met with the media ...On Nashville:
"They’re a deep team. They score. ... They’re rolling right along, and we’re going to have to play well.”On if it's too early to talk about the playoff picture:
"You don’t want to fall much further behind. It’s already a big enough hole. We’ll take this four-game homestand and reassess things after that. We want to continue to play good hockey. We’ve been in a lot of one-goal games, and we’ve got to find a way to win them. ... We’re looking just for one or two plays here and there to play with a lead.”On the play of defenseman Michal Jordan, who will pair with Ron Hainsey tonight:
"He’s moved the puck. The power play with him on it has been good. ... We’re looking for a quicker team in transition, and he allows us to move the puck.”
CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE10:30 a.m.
The Hurricanes have dressed seven defensemen in the last two games, and while we're unsure at this point if that will indeed be the case tonight, here's how the lines looked:
Cam Ward appears to be the starter, and Jay Harrison and Brad Malone appear to be the healthy extras. But we'll verify all of this after the skate.
HOMESTAND CONTINUES AS NASHVILLE COMES TO TOWN6:00 a.m.
The Carolina Hurricanes have three season-long five-game homestands on the docket in the 2014-15 regular season, and they’re working their way through the first right now.
Tonight, the Nashville Predators make their lone Raleigh appearance of the season in Canes’ second game of the homestand and first game in the month of December.
After assembling a 7-7-1 record in November, the Hurricanes sit at 7-13-3 (17 points) heading into Tuesday night’s contest.
“I still think we’re making progress. We were a lot better in November than we were in October, and now it’s about coming out with a big, big December,” Eric Staal said on Monday. “Now it’s about finding ways to get over that hump and be on the right side of those one-goal games.”
“We’re set up pretty good for the month of December. I really like the month,” head coach Bill Peters said on Monday. “We went over it real quick here prior to practice, and we want to get started and take advantage of the fact that we’re starting the month at home. We’re playing good teams, so we’re going to have to have our game dialed in. I think we’re there.”
As of Monday night, Nashville, led by head coach Peter Laviolette, sat atop the Western Conference alongside the St. Louis Blues with 34 points (16-5-2). The Predators come to Raleigh having won four straight, including three in either overtime or the shootout.
“They’re a good team that’s rolling right along,” Peters said. “They score, and they’re deep. They play with pace.”
“They’re having a great year. They’re up-tempo and fast. They have a great goalie,” Staal said. “It’s going to be a good challenge for us.”
Jeff Skinner, who has 11 points (5g, 6a) in 19 games this season, is a point-per-game producer versus Nashville with eight points (4g, 4a) in five career games. Skinner posted his first-career hat trick against the Predators in a 5-2 Hurricanes win on Dec. 6, 2013, nearly a year ago to the day.
The Hurricanes swept the season series between the two teams last season, and they are 5-1-2-1 at home all-time against Nashville.
“We know where we’re at as far as the standings go,” Staal said. “This [month] is very key to us continuing to take steps toward getting better and getting points.”
NOTES: The Canes have earned at least one point in each of the last six meetings between the two teams at PNC Arena. … Justin Faulk (1g, 2a), Victor Rask (0g, 3a), Nathan Gerbe (1g, 1a), Elias Lindholm (1g, 1a) and Eric Staal (0g, 2a) each have points in two consecutive games.