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The Official Site of the Carolina Hurricanes

Gameday: Hurricanes at Avalanche

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

DENVER - Looking to keep the good vibes rolling on the road. 

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight's cross-conference tilt featuring the Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche 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 elected to keep off the ice on Monday, so they'll be back at it this morning. We'll bring you the latest rinkside at Pepsi Center just after 11:30 a.m. local time (1:30 p.m. Eastern).

Last updated: 7:45 p.m.


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
7:45 p.m.

Mike Maniscalco details tonight's Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina three Tools to Victory.

1. Hold Up the Avs Forwards

While the Hurricanes can't turn back the clock and run the neutral zone trap, they can't let Colorado's forwards gain speed through the middle of the ice. A good way to prevent this it to stand them up at the blue line.

2. Get the Lead

It seems repetitive, but the Hurricanes are a much better team playing with the lead after the first period. Carolina is12-4-3 with the lead after 20 minutes, and the Avs are 5-18-3 when trailing after the first.

3. Stay Out of the Box

Colorado has a hard time scoring goals, and while their power play is 29th out of 30, they have dangerous players. Don't give the Avs their best chance of scoring by taking needless penalties.


PREGAME: PETERS
3:00 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters spoke with us at Pepsi Center following the Hurricanes' morning skate, and he confirmed that the team would dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen tonight with Phil Di Giuseppe out of the lineup due to an upper-body injury.

"We're going to dress seven and play seven as D and rotate some guys through as forwards," Peters said.

As far as Di Giuseppe's injury goes, Peters did not give a definitive time-table for his return to the ice.

"It's going to be a little while, it looks like," he said. "It's going to take some time."

Here's more from the Canes' bench boss.

On getting two points against the Avs: "I thought we played real fast in our last game in Arizona, in our transition game. That's probably the thing we had a hard time doing coming out of the bye: getting our feet moving and skating again. We're going to need everybody. Playing at altitude, you need everybody to contribute."

On the threat Colorado poses: "They're real dangerous up front and on the back end. ... "Lots of skill. If you're not going to play a hard, heavy game against them, their skill will be on display."

On the importance of scoring the first goal: "The first goal for our team is very important. It's a young team. We seem to play better and settle in when we have the lead, especially if we're not chasing the game. It'd be nice to get on the board early and go from there."


CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
1:35 p.m.

Phil Di Giuseppe (upper body) did not participate in the Hurricanes morning skate today, so we're likely looking at a seven defensemen situation. We'll confirm after the skate with head coach Bill Peters on how he plans to utilize his roster tonight.

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Skinner-Ryan-Stempniak
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CANES GET ANOTHER CRACK AT AVS
6:00 a.m.

The Carolina Hurricanes knew it wouldn't be easy coming off the bye week.

And sure enough, it wasn't. The Hurricanes dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the Colorado Avalanche at home on Feb. 17, and just over two weeks later, Carolina makes their lone visit of the season to the Mile High City looking to square up the season series.

The Hurricanes are coming off a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday, a game that was decided in the waning minutes when Derek Ryan crashed the net and cashed in on a loose puck in the crease.

"I'm not exactly sure what happened to be honest. I think it hit a stick and went off the bar and just kind of laid there. I came in and picked up the trash," Ryan said after the game. "I think I've said that in a lot of interviews: if you want to score in this league, you've got to go to the net. Sometimes it's hard to get there, but when you do, it pays off."

At the other end of the ice, Eddie Lack made 25 saves on 26 shots in a strong 60-minute effort.

"He was huge. I thought he really stepped up and played a great game. He made those timely saves," Ryan said. "I thought he really delivered on stepping in for us. I think the whole team had confidence and faith in him."

"I just stayed positive and kept working hard in practice. I'm going to keep working hard and keep having fun, and good things will happen," Lack said. "I'm just here doing my job and everything. I'm trying not to get too caught up in media or whatever. I'm just trying to be here, do my job and work hard."

The Avalanche finds itself mired in a four-game losing skid in which the team has been outscored 15-2. On Sunday, Colorado was shut out 3-0 by the St. Louis Blues in the beginning of a four-game homestand.

The status of forward Phil Di Giuseppe is unknown heading into tonight's game. The forward left the game in the second period on Sunday in Arizona and did not return with an upper-body injury.

"I don't know," head coach Bill Peters said after the game when asked if he had any further update. "I know he wanted to play, but they didn't think so."

Should Di Giuseppe be unable to play tonight, the Hurricanes could opt to dress a seventh defenseman as they did in Florida last week.

CANESPR NOTES: Teuvo Teravainen redirected Jaccob Slavin's point shot for a goal in Arizona, and with that primary assist, Slavin now has assists in four straight games. … The Canes' win in Colorado on Oct. 21, 2015, was their first victory in Denver since Feb. 9, 1996, putting an end to a 12-game winless streak.


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