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Gameday: Hurricanes at Sharks

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

SAN JOSE - "I'm going going, back back, to Cali Cali."

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

Wednesday was a travel day for the Hurricanes, who returned to the States after a few days in Vancouver. The team will be on the ice at SAP Center at 11:30 a.m. local time (2:30 p.m. Eastern) for their morning skate, where we'll be bringing you the latest.

Last updated: 9:55 p.m.


RYAN SET FOR NO. 100
9:55 p.m.

Derek Ryan will skate in his 100th career NHL game tonight. For the 30-year-old center, it was a long time coming for No. 1.

"It's pretty awesome. Definitely look back on my journey to get here. I never expected to play one game, let alone 100," Ryan said after the morning skate. "Hard to put into words. Hopefully it's the first 100 of several."

Speaking of the first game, that one happened to be pretty memorable for Ryan, who scored his first career goal in the same game.

"The first game was probably the most memorable because I had family there and scored my first goal, so that's a pretty big deal," he said. "It's just all the little things. In my journey, I've been in the lower leagues in Europe, and now I'm in the NHL. I've got the treatment all the way up, and how you're treated in the NHL is so awesome. To soak that in and not take it for granted is probably the biggest thing I'd take away."

Now in his third NHL season, "Doc" has learned quite a bit about how to be successful in the league, but there's one that stands out.

"I think the biggest thing I've found maybe over this season and the end of last season is that you have to go to the net to get rewarded and score goals in this league," he siad. "You can't be a real perimeter player and expect to get a whole lot of goals unless you have an extreme, elite skillset, and I'm not that. I have to make sure I'm going to the net and getting those hard-earned, hard-working, greasy goals in front of the blue paint."

Ryan will skate in between Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen tonight, a new-look line that Peters debuted on the ice in the morning skate.

"I'm excited about it. I got to play with Seabass a little bit at the end of the game in Colorado, and we spent pretty much I think the whole third period in the other team's zone. I'm excited to play with him. I've played with Turbo a little bit on and off for the last couple of games," he said. "Two elite skills, and I'll try to get them the puck as much as I can. I'll try to have some fun because they are a fun duo to play with."


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
8:40 p.m.

TV's Mike Maniscalco lays out the roadmap to two points with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina three Tools to Victory.

1. Get Shots from Good Areas

The Hurricanes like to fire the puck. Tonight, the team needs to get the puck into the garden spots before settling for a shot on goal.

2. Defensive Cohesion

The forwards have to come back in the defensive zone and help the blue liners so the team can play as one cohesive group of five.

3. Consistent Effort

No sag in the second period tonight, something that has been an issue in the past five games.


IN THE ROOM: BILL PETERS
3:45 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters met with the media after his team's morning skate. Here's a sampling of what was discussed, with the full availability down below.

On tonight's opponent: "Big down the middle. Jumbo is still playing at a high level. They'll get Martin back tonight. That will make their top four real solid. Their goaltending has been real good. I think that's a reflection of their team defense. They don't give up much."

On what the team needs to do tonight to be successful: "We've got to get off to a good start and sustain it. ... You've got to make plays when plays are available to be made."

Video: Bill Peters: "You've got to make plays"


CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
2:40 p.m.

The Hurricanes took to the ice at SAP Center for their morning skate at 11:30 a.m. local time on Thursday. Here's the lineup you can expect to see tonight, a bit different from what we've seen recently.

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

Slavin-Pesce
Dahlbeck-Faulk
Hanifin-van Riemsdyk

Ward
Darling

More coming from inside the room in just a bit.

Tweet from @MSmithCanes: A morning skate begins. #CARvsSJS pic.twitter.com/RuLr74WPEw


CANES HEAD TO SAN JOSE
12:00 a.m.

The Carolina Hurricanes' six-game road trip shifts back to the United States, where a three-game set in California will begin on Thursday night against the San Jose Sharks.

The Canes stumbled in their road trip opener, being shut out 3-0 by Jacob Markstrom and the Vancouver Canucks. The Canes dominated play in the first period, outshooting the Canucks 12-3 and holding them without a shot in the last 16 minutes of the period, but couldn't capitalize. The Canucks scored twice in the second period, and Markstrom tallied 30 saves to seal the Hurricanes' fate.

"I think we played a good first period. We had chances and looks," Justin Faulk said after the game. "We need to carry those first periods over to the second to build a game and try to win."

Second periods have been a challenge for the Canes as of late. The team has been outscored 10-2 in the middle frame of their last six games. Period-by-period, the second is the one with the widest negative goal differential for the Canes this season (25-18).

"We're not necessarily carrying that over to the second period to keep that pressure on. We almost have a little bit of a letdown," Faulk said. "I don't know if it's not having the confidence right now that it will continue, so we just need to find a way to continue that play we have in the first period, carry it over to the second and not get disappointed that we didn't score and get a 1-0 or 2-0 lead."

"I think maybe it's puck management," head coach Bill Peters said after Tuesday's loss. "It's the period of the long change. You've got to make sure you're making strong plays with the puck and make sure you have a forecheck. I didn't think we had a very effective forecheck in the second."

The San Jose Sharks just returned from a four-game Eastern Conference road trip that took the team through Philadelphia, South Florida, Tampa Bay and Washington. The Sharks posted a 2-2-0 record on that trip and begin a three-game homestand tonight. San Jose boasts a 14-10-2 record and 30 points through 26 games this season.

The Hurricanes have won seven of their last 10 meetings with the Sharks (7-3-0) and have won four of the last six games in San Jose (4-2-0).

CANESPR NOTES: Derek Ryan is expected to play in his 100th career game tonight. … Dating back to Feb. 17, 2012, the Canes are 23-for-23 on the penalty kill in nine games against the Sharks.


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