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Gameday: Hurricanes at Jets

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

WINNIPEG - Road tripping!

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

Bell MTS Place is the site of tonight's game, an early 6 p.m. local time (7 p.m. Eastern) puck drop, meaning the morning skates shift ahead an hour. We'll be rinkside to bring you the latest from the Canes' skate at 10:30 a.m. Central (11:30 a.m. Eastern).

Last updated: 4:55 p.m.

4:55 p.m.

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

1. Get Out

Get the puck out of the defensive zone quickly. The Jets are loaded with big, fast, skilled forwards that cause havoc on defenders. The quicker the Hurricanes get the puck out of the zone, it leads to good things like ...

2. Get Up

Win the transition game. Winnipeg can get caught up ice which will lead to opportunities for the Canes to counter attack or, even better, take the offense right at the Jets.

3. Silence the Noise

Take the crowd out of it. The Jets fans are loud and can fuel their team. By playing a smart road game, the Hurricanes can quiet them early and turn a positive for the home team into a negative.

2:30 p.m.

At 25 years old, Jeff Skinner is a skosh over the average age of the Carolina Hurricanes' roster.

Does that make him one of the "older guys"? Probably not. Again, he's just 25 years and nearly 5 months old.

But Skinner is somewhat of a veteran in the sense that, in his eighth NHL season, he is set to play in his 500th career game on Saturday night in Winnipeg.

"It's pretty cool," Skinner said after the morning skate. "You don't really think about every game going in what number it is. When you reach a milestone like that, it's pretty cool to reflect on it. It's the best league in the world, and it's special to be able to play in it at all. To play 500 games is pretty cool."


1:50 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters held court with the Winnipeg media following today's morning skate. Here are some highlights.

On the first two games of the season: "It was a good start. We've played two good teams. I've liked the way we've played. We've got to get to our game early here. We haven't played in a long time. A little unusual and a little rusty in that regard, but you want to get your guys out there and get your game established. That will be our challenge tonight against the Jets."

On the play of Scott Darling: "He was solid in both games. ... He's been good. He's made the saves he's supposed to make."

On Sebastian Aho: "He was real good in the Minnesota game. He made plays. He's hanging onto more pucks and he's stronger on pucks."

On the Jets: "They're a good team. They're well-rounded. Some special players in that top-six group. Real good, honest players throughout the lineup."

11:35 a.m.

Based on this morning's skate at Bell MTS Place, here's how you can expect the Canes to line up tonight.




We'll go inside the locker room and talk to the head coach in just a bit.

11:00 a.m.

As noted yesterday, the Hurricanes want to have seven healthy defensemen with them on this Western Canada (plus Dallas) road swing. So, the team recalled Trevor Carrick this morning. Carrick played in the Charlotte Checkers' home opener on Friday night, and he'll join the team in Winnipeg today.

In a corresponding move, the Canes placed defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (concussion) on injured reserve.

12:00 a.m.

With three of a possible four points to their name, the Carolina Hurricanes are set for their first road trip of the 2017-18 regular season.

The weeklong, four-game trip, necessitated by the State Fair's presence in Raleigh, begins tonight in Winnipeg.

"It's a good trip in the fact that we play four good teams," head coach Bill Peters said. "We get a little bit of time in between [games] and the travel is not atrocious, so there's going to be no excuses."

In the 2017-18 season opener, the Canes erased a two-goal deficit in the third period before winning the game in the shootout. On Tuesday against Columbus, the Canes fought back with a late third-period goal off the stick of Jeff Skinner to earn a point in a 2-1 overtime loss.

The Canes' third game of the season lines them up against a 2-2-0 Jets team. Winnipeg dropped their first two contests, being outscored 13-5 in the process. They've since won two straight, topping Edmonton and Vancouver.

Twelve months ago, the Canes began the 2016-17 campaign at what was then known as MTS Centre, where they built a three-goal lead in the third period, only to walk away with a point after the Jets scored four unanswered.

But that was then and this is now, and the Canes sport a quicker, deeper team than last season. Still, they know what they're up against with a former head coach in Paul Maurice behind the Jets' bench.

"They're a bigger team with skill," Peters said. "They know how to play and have a lot of skill. They can grind you, but they also look to score off the rush. We're going to have to make sure we manage the puck properly and do a good job in D-zone coverage."

The Hurricanes are without Trevor van Riemsdyk (concussion) for at least the start of this trip. The team is expected to make a recall on Saturday in order to ensure seven healthy defensemen available. Klas Dahlbeck made his season debut on the back-end, paired with rookie Haydn Fleury, on Tuesday.

"The guys who have been in have played hard and played well," Peters said.

CANESPR NOTES: Jeff Skinner is expected to play in his 500th NHL game tonight. … The Canes have outshot their opponents 80-54 in the first two games of the season. This marks the most shots the Canes have recorded in the first two games of a season since 1987-88.




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