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Gameday: Hurricanes at Flyers

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

PHILADELPHIA - Pat's or Geno's? We'll have the answer for you Monday on CanesCast.

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 Philadelphia Flyers. Make a regular stop throughout the day, as we update this hub with notes, photos and more as puck drop draws near.

After a scheduled day off on Wednesday, the Hurricanes will get back on the ice at 11:30 a.m. for their morning skate, and we'll be rinkside to bring you the latest.

Last updated: 6:20 p.m.

6:20 p.m.

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

1. Keep the Crease Clear

The Flyers might be without Wayne Simmonds, but they still have plenty of players that crash the net. The Hurricanes have to keep the Flyers from getting to the dirty areas and take away the second-chance shots.

2. Cut Down on Turnovers

Avoiding dangerous or careless passes in the defensive zone that extend shifts or lead to grade-A chances for the opposition have to be eliminated.

3. Four Line Effort

All four lines have to contribute. That doesn't mean that they all have to score, which would be nice, but they have do their jobs so the minutes can be distributed evenly. The Hurricanes are a better team when they roll four lines and dictate the match-ups on the ice.

3:15 p.m.

Hear from Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner, as he sets the table for tonight's Canes-Flyers match-up.

Video: Jeff Skinner: "Work through it"

1:00 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters spoke with the media in Philadelphia after his team's morning skate. Here are some highlights, and the full availability can be seen below.

On Jordan Staal: "As a person he's off the charts. He's a very strong individual, a very good family man, teammate and hockey player. He's a quality individual. When he was gone, you saw where we missed him."

On Victor Rask playing the wing: "He'll play with Doc and Stemper and take faceoffs on the left side. … Whoever wins the race back into the D-zone can play down low and act as a center. Even though he's going to line up as a winger, lots of times he'll still be playing the center position."

On the status of Joakim Nordstrom: "He's going to be a while. There's some pressure on the eye. Dodged a bullet. Vision-wise he's going to be fine, but it's going to be a while."

On what needs to improve down the stretch for the Canes to go on a run: "We've got to score. We don't score on a consistent basis. Some nights it seems to go in for us, and other nights it's just a grind to score. … If you don't score early, now you're down and you feel like you have to chase the game and things start to go away from you."

On building off the game in Boston: "It was a good effort. I thought the effort was solid. There were a couple breakdowns we'd like to clean up, and if we can do that we'll be better off."

Video: Bill Peters: "You get a book on guys"

11:35 a.m.

Jordan Staal has rejoined the Hurricanes, and he'll be back in the lineup tonight. Here's how the team will line up.

Skinner-Wallmark-Di Giuseppe

Fleury-van Riemsdyk


We'll go inside the room after the skate.

Tweet from @MSmithCanes: #Canes morning skate getting going in Philadelphia. #CARvsPHI #Redvolution

12:00 a.m.

The Carolina Hurricanes were able to stow away a point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, but the win column remains elusive.

The Hurricanes are winless in their last six games (0-4-2), their last two-point effort coming on Feb. 13 in a 7-3 trouncing of the Los Angeles Kings. That was the peak of a three-game winning streak, during which the team scored 14 goals. The Canes scored just six goals over their next five games but were able to break through in Boston.

The Canes scored three first-period goals, including a pair on the power play, and took a 3-2 lead to the locker room after 20 minutes. They couldn't find the fourth marker, though, and settled for a point.

"It's nice to score goals and get a couple early to not be chasing from behind the whole game. At the same time we're sitting here and got one point. That's not good enough," Justin Faulk said. "We know we need two right now."

To begin the month of March, the Hurricanes draw a divisional opponent that surged in the standings during a scorching February. After losing 4-3 in regulation to the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 1, the Flyers then went 10-0-2 in their next 12 games and are currently riding a six-game winning streak. Philadelphia occupies second place in the Metropolitan Division, just a point behind the Washington Capitals for first.

Since the beginning of the new year, the Flyers are 8-2-2 at home, and Thursday's game marks the Hurricanes' first of two trips to Philadelphia this season. As strange as it was, the Hurricanes and Flyers began their four-game season series not even a month ago, a 2-1 overtime loss for the Canes in Raleigh.

Even though the Flyers have pulled away from the Hurricanes in the standings, these are still six critical points available for the taking, and the Canes know how vital it is to get back in the win column.

"We need to string together some wins," Faulk said on Tuesday night. "We've gone from inside a playoff position to four points out right now. … Just got to find a way to get two points."

The Hurricanes are expected to regain the services of Jordan Staal, who rejoined the team in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Staal has missed the team's last three games while taking time to be with his wife, Heather, and their family following the loss of their infant daughter, Hannah.

"My wife and I have been absolutely amazed by the support we've received from our friends, family and the whole hockey community," Staal said in a statement on Wednesday. "We just wanted to say thank you."

Joakim Nordstrom, who left Tuesday's game in Boston with an upper-body injury after receiving a high stick in the face, is not expected to be in the Hurricanes' lineup.

CANESPR NOTES: Thursday's game marks the beginning of the Canes' 14th of 18 back-to-back sets this season. The team is 9-4-0 in the first halves and 14-11-1 overall in back-to-back games this season. … Sebastian Aho, who leads the team with 22 goals and ranks second on the team in points with 48, is three points shy of 100 in his NHL career.




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