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Gameday: Hurricanes at Islanders

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

NEW YORK - "You did it! Congratulations! World's best cup of coffee. Great job, everybody! It's great to be here."

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information you need to know for tonight's Metropolitan Division tilt between the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders. 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 not hold a morning skate today. We'll be chatting with head coach Bill Peters in the early evening to get any last-minute lineup updates, but until then, we'll have your gameday content right here.

Last updated: 6:25 p.m.


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
6:25 p.m.

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

1. No BLT on the Menu

The Hurricanes have to force the Islanders to get offense from a line other than Bailey, Lee and Tavares. The trio has combined for 54 points in 17 games, so being able to slow this line down is a key to coming away with a win at Barclays Center.

2. TSA Continues Check-In

This is a Hurricanes line that has shown over the last two seasons that they can take over a game. Teuvo Teravainen, Jordan Staal and Sebastian Aho have outstanding chemistry right now and need to keep the momentum moving forward.

3. Limit Grade-A Chances

The Hurricanes do not give up a ton of shots, but the quality of those shots are too high at times. The team defense needs to tighten up tonight especially without the benefit of the last player change.


KRUGER OUT, DI GIUSEPPE IN
5:30 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters confirmed that Marcus Kruger (illness) is out for tonight's game. Phil Di Giuseppe will make his season debut on the right wing of the fourth line, now centered by Josh Jooris.

Here's more from the head coach this evening.

On tonight's game: "They're a good team. They're dialed in. They're a real hard opponent here at home."

On the Canes season so far and what needs to improve: "Specialty teams need to improve, for sure. The improvement has been made defensively. We're getting better defensively. There's more trust as a cohesive group. Goaltending has been very good whether we go with Darling or Ward."

On what he expects tonight: "I expect a hard-fought game with not a lot of room, to be honest with you. I think it will be more of a normal hockey game. I don't expect the 8-6, 7-5 or whatever it may be, but if it happens, it's proven to be something that happens between these two teams. I don't know why, but we'll see. It's a new day today."


CANES LINEUP: WHAT WE KNOW & WHAT WE DON'T KNOW
2:55 p.m.

The Hurricanes did not hold a morning skate this morning, but we have a good idea of what the lineup will look like tonight with one exception.

Here's what we know: we don't expect the forward lines or defensive pairs to change from a game ago. What we don't know: the status of Marcus Kruger, who missed practice on Wednesday due to illness. If he's good to go for tonight, the lineup should look like this:

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

Slavin-Pesce
Fleury-Faulk
Hanifin-van Riemsdyk

Darling
Ward

If Kruger is unable to play, the lineup should look like this, the only difference of which is the fourth line:

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

Slavin-Pesce
Fleury-Faulk
Hanifin-van Riemsdyk

Darling
Ward

We'll check on Kruger's status with Canes head coach Bill Peters this evening.


CANES TAKE FIVE-GAME POINT STREAK ON ROAD
12:00 a.m.

The Carolina Hurricanes will take their five-game point streak (3-0-2) on the road to Brooklyn, where they face off with the New York Islanders in their third Metropolitan Division game of the season.

Thursday night's game in Brooklyn is the start of a two-game trip through the state of New York that will then take the Hurricanes to Buffalo. The team then returns home to face these same Islanders and the Rangers to close out a four-game set against New York teams and a stretch of three of four games against divisional opponents.

For the 7-5-4 Canes, that's a prime opportunity to continue gaining ground in the standings.

"We're getting closer and closer every time we take the ice. I think the guys are getting more comfortable with the way we play," head coach Bill Peters said after practice on Tuesday. "Now we start playing some teams in the East and some teams specifically in our division. Now we've got to have a real good segment."

The Hurricanes are coming off a 5-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Monday, in which Teuvo Teravainen netted his first-career hat trick and Jordan Staal recorded four assists.

"We played well. I really liked our finish to the game, obviously," Peters said, referring to the four-goal outburst in the third period. "We played properly, and we played properly with the lead."

The Canes practiced on Tuesday and Wednesday before departing for New York. And, going to the practice rink is a little more enjoyable after a big win.

"Really happy with the two days. Really happy with today," Peters said following Wednesday's practice. "The energy and execution was really good."

Marcus Kruger skated with the Canes on Tuesday but did not practice on Wednesday due to flu-like symptoms.

"He was a little sick after the game our last game. He gutted it out yesterday," Peters said. "Didn't think he was going to go yesterday, and then it just took a turn for the worst."

If he cannot play in Brooklyn, the Canes' fourth line will feature Josh Jooris in the middle with Joakim Nordstrom and recent call-up Phil Di Giuseppe on the wings.

"We knew when we signed him that he could play both positions," Peters said of Jooris. "We knew the versatility of having him on our team."

Scott Darling will get the start in net, Peters confirmed.

CANESPR NOTES: Dating back to the start of the 2008-09 season, the Canes have posted a 22-7-7 record against the Islanders. The Canes have earned a point in nine of their last 10 game against the Islanders (6-1-3), including a point in five consecutive games in New York (4-0-1). … In his first 16 NHL games, Haydn Fleury is tied for first on the team and tied for second among all rookie defensemen in plus-minus rating (plus-6).


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