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Gameday: Predators vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Hello, 2016!


This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s match-up between the Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we updated it with notes, videos, photos and more as puck drop draws near.

The Hurricanes will hold a 10:30 a.m. morning skate at PNC Arena, and we’ll be rinkside to provide updates as always. Until then, a preview of tonight’s game can be found below.

Last updated: 6:30 p.m.



McCLEMENT OUT
6:30 p.m.

There's a slight change to the Canes' lineup tonight: Jay McClement did not take warm-ups and will not play, so Brad Malone will draw into the lineup. The fourth line then becomes: Malone-Nash-Terry.



BEFORE THE FACEOFF
5:00 p.m.

Michelle McMahon looks ahead to the Hurricanes' first contest of the New Year.




PETERS PREGAME
11:45 a.m.

Head coach Bill Peters spoke with the gathered media in Raleigh after today's morning skate. Here's a sampling of his availability.

On Eddie Lack starting in net: "His process is better. He's bigger. He's playing a little further out, I think. He's feeling better about himself now, I think. We've got both goaltenders going well, so we'll go back to Eddie and see how he does here tonight."

On special teams play: "You look around the league, and there aren't a lot of penalties. We went to Jersey and didn't get on the power play. Washington comes here and doesn't get on the power play. ... I missed the memo, but that's fine. There doesn't seem like there's a lot of penalties being called. I think there are penalties, but I don't think they're being called for whatever reason, so if we do get on the power play, we have to execute."

On penalties and power plays: "I look at it like this: we talk about generating offense in the NHL lots and power plays are pretty good, but when there are no power plays in the game [shrugs]. In Jersey, I thought we could have gotten on the power play and deserved to be on the power play. ... We probably did enough good things to generate a power play, that's all. Then against Washington, I don't think we played so well that we didn't take any penalties. ... There are some things that could have been called possibly. So I'm just saying call the calls and let the guys play."




CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
10:40 a.m.

As has been he case recently, the Hurricanes forward lines remain consistent. The Red, White and Blue Line also remains in tact, with Noah Hanifin returning to the ice today after missing Friday's practice with an illness.

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

Liles-Faulk
Slavin-Hainsey
Hanifin-Pesce

Lack
Ward

More updates from inside the room coming up in just a bit.



PREDS VISIT RALEIGH AS 2016 BEGINS
6:00 a.m.

The Carolina Hurricanes rang in the New Year in a big way, defeating the NHL’s best team and bringing an end to their nine-game winning streak.

PREDATORS vs. HURRICANES
Predators vs. Hurricanes
PNC ARENA | 7 p.m.
TV: FOX SPORTS CAROLINAS | RADIO: 99.9 FM
ARTICLES
RECAP: CANES HALT CAPS' WINNING STREAK
INFOGRAPHIC: CAR 4, WSH 2
VIDEOS
POSTGAME QUOTES: DEC. 31 vs. WSH
FORSLUND FOCUS: VICTOR RASK
A CHAT WITH WILLE LACK
GAMEDAY LINKS
BUY TICKETS
IN-GAME TWITTER
FIRST GOAL CONTEST
With a three-goal third period, the Hurricanes topped the Capitals 4-2 on New Year’s Eve. Jeff Skinner scored the game-winning goal and Eddie Lack made 30 saves in the team’s eighth win in the month of December.

“We knew it was going to be a good test, and I like that we were up for the challenge. It was a competitive game and real tight,” said Eric Staal, who put the Canes ahead 2-1 less than a minute into the third period. “It was a good effort by everybody. Everyone contributed, and I thought all four lines played real well. Eddie was good when he needed to be. It was a good effort.”

The Canes’ New Year’s Resolution? To keep the winning ways going.

“We start with a clean slate,” head coach Bill Peters said after a New Year’s Day practice at PNC Arena. “We’ve got to get our first win here at home and then go on the road and do a good job there.”

The 2016 calendar year begins with a match-up against the Nashville Predators, who make their lone visit to PNC Arena this season. The 2015-16 campaign began with the first meeting of the season between these two teams, a 2-1 win for the Preds.

Nashville has 43 points (18-13-7) through 38 games. The Preds are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games, victors in one of their last four. The Stars spoiled the Predators’ New Year’s Eve in a 5-1 decision.

“It’s going to be another tight match. They don’t give up much. They’ve got a great D corps and goalie, and their forwards play solid defensively,” Jordan Staal said after Thursday’s game. “It’s going to be another tight one and a good match-up. We’ll be raring to go tomorrow to get prepared for it, and hopefully we can keep this going.”

A starting goaltender for tonight’s game was not announced by Peters after Friday’s practice. Cam Ward has faced the Preds nine times in his career, while Lack has seen them four times. Lack is 4-0-1 in his last five starts, stopping 65 of 68 shots (.956 save percentage) in his last two outings, wins over Chicago and Washington.

“Either way, we’re comfortable with whoever we decide,” Peters said. “[I feel] totally better [about goaltending]. Sleep better at night. They’re playing better, and guys are playing better in front of them, which helps.”

Defenseman Noah Hanifin did not practice Friday, feeling “a little under the weather” according to Peters. His status will be a game-time decision, and if he doesn’t play, Michal Jordan will draw into the lineup.

CANESPR NOTES: Nashville is 10-4-0 in the last 14 meetings between these two teams, but the Canes have earned at least a point in each of the last seven match-ups in Raleigh. … Jeff Skinner has 10 points (5g, 5a) in eight career games against the Predators.



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

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