ST. LOUIS - Winter Classic Part II, anyone?
This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight's match-up featuring the Carolina Hurricanes and St. Louis Blues 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.
After deciding to cancel practice on Wednesday, the Hurricanes will be back on the ice in St. Louis today for an 11:30 a.m. morning skate, which will be 12:30 p.m. on the East Coast. We'll be rinkside at Scottrade Center to bring you the latest.
Last updated: 5:20 p.m.
BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
Mike Maniscalco delivers tonight's Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina three Tools to Victory.
1. Win First 10
Slow starts have been one of the things that has hampered the Hurricanes of late. Grab an early lead and force the Blues to change their plan.
2. On the Scoresheet
Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask need to get on the scoresheet tonight. They have a new linemate in Ty Rattie, so use that energy he'll bring to the line to cash in.
3. More Tempo
Head coach Bill Peters wasn't happy with how slow his team moved the puck against New Jersey. He wants his team to play fast and quickly advance up the ice. That starts with the the first pass made by the defense to the forwards.
RATTIE GETS LOOK WITH CANES AGAINST FORMER TEAM
A day after being claimed on waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes, Ty Rattie will face his former team in St. Louis.
It's a strange and unique situation, but one he is embracing.
"I'm sure it will be even weirder tonight," he said after the Hurricanes' morning skate. "I'm happy to be playing. It's tough to play your old friends right off the bat, but I've got a job to do and they've got a job to do. We're both trying to win a game here."
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FAULK RETURNS, RATTIE MAKES CANES DEBUT
Justin Faulk has been activated from injured reserve and will make his return to the Canes' lineup tonight after missing the team's last four games with a lower-body injury. In a corresponding move, Elias Lindholm, who skated with the team this morning in yellow, has been placed on IR with his upper-body concern.
The newest Hurricane, Ty Rattie, will get a look with Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner tonight.
"His pedigree is an offensive player and a goal-scorer," head coach Bill Peters said. "We'll get him out there and see what he's all about."
Here's more from the head coach.
On Rattie facing his former team: "Different, eh? A unique set of circumstances. It happens. ... He'll know what they're doing. Maybe I should talk to him."
On the Canes' game right now: "We want to get ourselves reestablished. ... We feel good about where we're at when we play the game the right way. We're just worried about our game, making sure we start on time and play a 60-minute game."
CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
The Canes hit the ice in St. Louis after a day off on Wednesday. Former Blue Ty Rattie joined the team after being claimed on waivers yesterday. Here's how the lines will shake out tonight.
Elias Lindholm (upper body) skated in a yellow, no-contact sweater. Matt Tennyson and Klas Dahlbeck appear to be the healthy extras with the possible return of Justin Faulk from a lower-body injury.
We'll confirm this and more with the head coach after the skate.
CANES BEGIN BACK-TO-BACK SET IN ST. LOUIS
The Carolina Hurricanes begin a back-to-back set in the Midwest tonight with a match-up against the St. Louis Blues, just days after the city hosted the Winter Classic.
At 1-3-0 since returning from the holiday break, the Hurricanes are looking to rediscover the swagger they had prior to the three-day rest period, when they won three games in a row and earned points in five straight.
"We haven't played as well coming off the break, and that's disappointing. That's just the reality," head coach Bill Peters said his team dropped a 3-1 decision to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. "We have to find a way to get that back."
Exacerbating the sting of Tuesday's loss to New Jersey, the third in as many games against the Devils this season, was that the Canes were flat as a team and let two crucial divisional points slip away.
"We didn't execute as well as we'd like," Jordan Staal said. "They did a good job of clogging up the neutral zone and making it difficult for us to either enter the blue line with speed or get a good forecheck on them."
"I don't think too many guys in the room were happy with the way we played as a team. We can't play like that and expect results," Peters said. "There's reality there. It's not like we're sitting there thinking we played well and deserved a better fate."
The Canes now find themselves six points out of a wild card spot. After this week's cross-conference back-to-back, the Hurricanes will play nine of their next 10 games against Eastern Conference opponents, including seven within the Metropolitan Division.
Though the Hurricanes opted for a day off on the ice, they remained busy off it. The team swapped goaltenders with Charlotte, recalling Michael Leighton, who backstopped the Checkers in Chicago on Tuesday night, and reassigning Daniel Altshuller.
At midday, the Hurricanes claimed forward Ty Rattie off waivers from St. Louis. Rattie was a second-round pick of the Blues in 2011, and he has posted eight points (4g, 4a) in 30 NHL games.
The Blues defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Monday in the Winter Classic at Busch Stadium. The Blues own a 15-3-4 record at home and rank third in the Central Division with 45 points.
CANESPR NOTES: The Hurricanes have earned at least a point in five of the last six games in St. Louis (3-1-2) and in 11 of the last 15 regular-season meetings between the two teams (8-4-3). … The Finnish duo of Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho continues to streak. Teravainen has points in five straight games (1g, 4a) while Aho has points in four straight (2g, 2a).
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