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Gameday: Hurricanes at Stars

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

DALLAS - Deep in the heart of Texas!

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to this afternoon's cross-conference match-up between the Carolina Hurricanes and Dallas Stars 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.

It's a local time 1 p.m. Central/2 p.m. Eastern puck drop in Dallas, so the Hurricanes will not hold a morning skate, but you can still find all your gameday updates right here. 

Last updated: 11:05 a.m.


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
11:05 a.m.

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

1. Control the Dots, Control the Game

Winning faceoffs and gaining puck possession will be important against a Dallas team that wants to have a track meet.

2. Post Up

Dallas has not received top-shelf netminding this season. Make it more difficult on Antti Niemi or Kari Lehtonen by parking out front and getting to what seems to be an sure rebound.

3. Leave Nothing in the Tank

The Hurricanes' bye week starts after this game, so there is no reason for the team to not come out throttle down and try to grab the early lead and build on it.


CANES PROJECTED LINEUP
6:00 a.m.

Based on lines in practice on Friday, here's how we expect the Hurricanes' roster to play out for this afternoon's game.

Aho-Staal-Lindholm
Skinner-Rask-Stempniak
McGinn-Ryan-Teravainen
Nordstrom-McClement-Stalberg

Hainsey-Faulk
Slavin-Pesce
Hanifin-Tennyson

Ward
Lack

If the above group changes at all prior to the game, we'll provide that update.


CANES TAKE ON STARS PRIOR TO BYE WEEK
6:00 a.m.

Before the Carolina Hurricanes take a five-day hiatus, they have some afternoon business to attend to in Dallas.

The Hurricanes will face the Stars for the first time this season in a matinee match-up, a chance for the Canes not only to head into the bye week with a victory but also snag eight out of a possible 10 points in this five-game stretch.

"We're going to play hard tomorrow night and then just want to make sure guys look after themselves," head coach Bill Peters said after a pair of practice days at Raleigh Center Ice. "There's nothing to save it for, for sure. You can empty the tank."

Like a number of teams before them, the Hurricanes were defeated by the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on Tuesday night, a 5-0 loss. Prior to that, the team had won three consecutive games, including a 5-4 overtime thriller against the New York Islanders in Brooklyn.

"If we can gather six, seven, eight points in every five-game segment, I think we give ourselves a chance," Peters said.

Today the Canes draw a Dallas team that has lost four straight games to open the month of February. Injuries have decimated their lineup, and at 21-24-10 (52 points), they sit eight points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"Real dangerous team. It's a team that can score quickly. The power play has some dangerous guys on it," Peters said. "We have to make sure we manage the puck and spend some time in the offensive zone. We've got to do a better job getting through the neutral zone and spending some quality time generating grade-A chances."

The Hurricanes will sport some different, yet familiar line combinations this afternoon. Victor Rask, who has gone without a point in 10 straight games, has been reunited with wingers Jeff Skinner and Lee Stempniak, a reliable and productive trio for the team early in the season. Rask is better than a point-per-game producer against Dallas in his young career with seven points (2g, 5a) in four games.

"We've got to get some offense going again here, and I think that's going to help us," Peters said on Thursday. "Offense comes and goes. We talk about that all time. Defense is something you can hang your hat on each and every night. It's something through structure and hard work."

On defense, Matt Tennyson will draw back into the lineup on the right side of Noah Hanifin. Tennyson had been a healthy extra for the last five games while the Canes worked Klas Dahlbeck back into the mix.

CANESPR NOTES: The Carolina franchise has won just twice in Dallas (Feb. 11, 1996 and Nov. 18, 2014) since the Stars' relocation in 1993-94. … Defenseman Jaccob Slavin leads the Canes in average ice time per game (23:13) and ranks first among team defensemen with 18 assists.


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