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Gameday: Hurricanes at Avalanche

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

DENVER - November already?!

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information you need to know for tonight's tilt between the Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche. Make Hurricanes.com a regular stop throughout the day, as we update this hub with notes, photos and more as puck drop draws near.

The Hurricanes will be on the ice at Pepsi Center for an 11:30 a.m. local time morning skate, so check back here for updates beginning around 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

Last updated: 7:00 p.m.

BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
7:00 p.m.

TV's Mike Maniscalco details tonight's Blue Cross and Blue Shield three Tools to Victory.

1. Start on Time

This might be a familiar refrain, but a slow start in Colorado leads to digging out of a hole. Contrast these two examples from the road. In Dallas, a slow start led to 4-0 deficit that the Canes couldn't dig out of despite a furious rally. In Toronto, a fast start that built a 2-0 lead forced the home team to chase the game and resulted in 6-3 win for the Canes. 

2. Stay in Control

Playing a game of pond hockey is not in the Hurricanes favor. A controlled tempo while staying in the system is how Carolina has success on the road. Both these teams want to play with speed, but the team that controls the pace is going to dictate the final score.

3. Help the Defense

With Brett Pesce out with a concussion, the Hurricanes will have a different look on the blue line. The best way to help out the defensive corps with Pesce sidelined is to have the forwards play a responsible defensive game. That means back-checking, no cherry picking and helping get pucks out of the defensive zone.


IN THE ROOM: NOAH HANIFIN
5:00 p.m.

Go inside the Canes' locker room to hear from Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin, who will pair with Klas Dahlbeck tonight.

Video: Noah Hanifin: "Use our feet"


IN THE ROOM: BILL PETERS
4:45 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters skated off the ice and came right to chat with us after his team's morning skate today. Here are some highlights, and video of the full availability can be found below.

On getting off to a good start: "We've got to play with energy throughout the lineup. We've got to start on time in order to play 60 minutes. When we give ourselves a best chance and play 60 minutes, we're right there every night. When we sit around to wait and see what the tempo is like, we're playing from behind."

On getting to their tempo first: "We've got to make their D turn. I'd love to see us with wide speed on entries, taking their D on, trying to drive the net and trying to create offense in that fashion."

On how the D pairs shake out: "They're going to be real flexible. Everyone has played with everybody throughout the preseason and the early start of the regular season. It's a good opportunity for guys to play more minutes and more valuable minutes. Dahly is getting back into the lineup, and now it's time to take advantage of that."

Video: Bill Peters: "Play with energy"


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

Here's how the Hurricanes will line up tonight against the Colorado Avalanche.

Aho-Staal-Lindholm
Teravainen-Rask-Williams
Skinner-Ryan-Jooris
Nordstrom-Kruger-McGinn

Slavin-van Riemsdyk
Fleury-Faulk
Hanifin-Dahlbeck

Ward
Darling

Scratches: Patrick Brown (healthy), Roland McKeown (healthy), Brett Pesce (concussion)

We'll chat with the head coach and go inside the locker room following the skate.

Tweet from @MSmithCanes: #Canes morning skate happening now in Denver. pic.twitter.com/pYHDMQlrQx


CANES OPEN NOVEMBER IN DENVER
12:00 a.m.

Following a 4-4-2 October, the Carolina Hurricanes begin the second month of the 2017-18 regular season with a two-game road trip to Colorado and Arizona.

In their first game action since Sunday, the Canes will square off with the Avalanche, who have been idle since Saturday.

"Points are huge. We need to get points, there's no question about it," head coach Bill Peters said after his team's practice on Tuesday. "If we go out on the road and play the right way, I like our chances."

The Avs posted a 6-5-0 record (12 points) in October, including a 4-1-0 mark at home. They beat the Stars 5-3 and the Blackhawks 6-3 in their final two home games of the month.

The Hurricanes are coming off a month in which they posted a 3-2-0 record on the road, their most recent game of which was a 6-3 defeat of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last season, the Canes earned just one of a possible six points against the Avalanche, who finished with a league-worst 22 wins and 48 points.

"I just know it's hard to win. In order to win, there's a certain way you have to play. When you play that way, you're going to give yourself a chance," Peters said. "We have a template. When we play the way we're designed to play, we're very efficient and successful. When we deviate from that, we're very random."

The Canes head west without defenseman Brett Pesce, who suffered a concussion in Tuesday's practice. Klas Dahlbeck could draw back into the lineup on Thursday.

"I am comfortable [with Dahlbeck playing his off side], but I'm also well aware that he's better on the left side," Peters said on Wednesday. "If you want to give a guy a good chance to be successful, play him on his natural side."

Perhaps uncoincidentally, the Canes recalled right-shooting defenseman Roland McKeown for extra insurance on the back-end during this trip.

The team also has forward Patrick Brown in tow after Janne Kuokkanen was assigned to Charlotte earlier this week.

"If he gets in, you know what Brownie's all about. He's a versatile guy who plays real hard and is responsible defensively and good on the forecheck. He can play center and the wing," Peters said. "He's been real good on the wing to start the year in the American League. We're successful with Brownie because of his work ethic."

CANESPR NOTES: The Canes were not whistled for a penalty in their last two games, marking the first consecutive penalty-free games in franchise history. The Canes lead the league in fewest penalty minutes per game at 4:35. … Carolina is 3-1-1 in their last five games against Colorado.


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