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Gameday: Blue Jackets vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

Going for history tonight.

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight's Metropolitan Division match-up between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we update it with notes, videos, photos and more as puck drop draws near.

As always, we'll be rinkside at PNC Arena to bring you the latest from the Hurricanes' 10:30 a.m. morning skate.

Last updated: 4:20 p.m.


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
4:20 p.m.

Mike Maniscalco delivers tonight's Blue Cross and Blue Shield three Tools to Victory.

Video: Tools to Victory: CBJ vs. CAR


IN THE ROOM
3:00 p.m.

Hear from Lee Stempniak and Matt Tennyson before tonight's Blue Jackets-Hurricanes match-up.

Video: Lee Stempniak: "Not much room for error"

Video: Matt Tennyson: "Going to give it our best"


PREGAME: PETERS
12:35 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters spoke with the media after the Canes' morning skate, and here are some highlights with the full scrum available below.

On the Canes' current point streak and playoff push: "We're right where we need to be. We've gotten ourselves to this point, and now we've got to find a way to continue to play well. Guys are excited about the opportunity. Little segments, one game at a time; it's cliché, but that's the reality of it."

On the feel in these games down the stretch: "Everyone's getting dialed in and playing the right way, so there's not a lot of ice out there. It's got a more intense atmosphere, for sure."

On Eddie Lack's status: "Getting closer. He feels a lot better here today. He's going to get treatment again, and then I think he wants to try to skate - he told me the weekend." "That's him being optimistic and him wanting to get back in, too. He's been playing real well, and he'll do everything he can to get ready, I know that."

On Matt Tennyson drawing back into the lineup on Tuesday: "He did a good job. I know he worked real hard. I think he missed six or seven games. That's a stretch. He came in and was seamless. He did his job and filled right in there."

On tonight's opponent: "They play hard … and they're very, very deep. They play the right way, and they're above you. They don't give you anything for free."

Video: Bill Peters: "One game at a time"


CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
10:35 a.m.

After Tuesday's 4-1 win over Detroit, no changes have been made to the Hurricanes' lineup heading into tonight's match-up with Columbus.

Aho-Staal-Lindholm
Nordstrom-Rask-Teravainen
Skinner-Ryan-Stempniak
McGinn-Wallmark-Di Giuseppe

Slavin-Pesce
Hanifn-Faulk
Dahlbeck-Tennyson

Ward
Nedeljkovic

Jay McClement (lower body) joined the Canes' skate this morning. Eddie Lack (neck strain) and Ryan Murphy (lower body) were absent.

Tweet from @NHLCanes: #Canes go for points in 13 straight tonight vs. #CBJ! #CBJvsCAR #Redvolution pic.twitter.com/XWpigsQOyw


CANES EYE FRANCHISE RECORD
6:00 a.m.

The stage is set for a potentially historic night at PNC Arena, as the Carolina Hurricanes will look to extend their point streak to 13 games, which would be a new franchise record.

With their 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, the Hurricanes improved to 8-0-4 in their last 12 games, equaling a franchise-best point streak set in 2005.

The win also moved the team within four points of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with seven games remaining.

"It's fun to have something to play for. The guys believe in what we're doing," Cam Ward said. "As cliché as it is, you take it one game at a time. As long as we keep taking care of business, hopefully we can keep climbing up those standings."

The Hurricanes have tallied 23 points in the month of March, making it the second-most productive month in franchise history behind only January of 2006, when the team earned 26 points.

"We're starving for the playoffs," Ward said. "You've got to take it one game at a time and not look too far in the future. We've been doing a good job of taking care of ourselves and coming into each day trying to win the day, as Bill Burniston would say. Kudos to the guys for sticking with it. Winning's fun, and we're having a lot of fun."

Tonight, the Hurricanes' four-game homestand rolls along as a Metropolitan Division foe comes to town. The Columbus Blue Jackets have already stamped their ticket to the postseason for the third time in team history, and they are attempting to close the gap on the division- and conference-leading Washington Capitals. The Jackets have won two straight and earned points in three straight, and the team is 7-2-1 in its last 10 games.

This marks the fourth and final meeting of the season between the Hurricanes and Blue Jackets. The Canes' lone win in their first three games against Columbus this season came at home on Jan. 10 in a 5-3 victory. The Hurricanes have earned points in 11 of their last 14 games against the Blue Jackets, going 9-3-2 in that stretch.

Now, with their potential playoff lives on the line, they square off a team already destined for the postseason. It's one of the best challenges the team will face down the stretch of the season.

"We have that quiet confidence, that quiet belief that we're in this. You don't want to look too far into the future," Ward said. "The guys are doing a really good job of being focused. We're getting contributions from everyone in the lineup, and guys have been able to step up big in big ways."

CANESPR NOTES: Derek Ryan is riding a career-high five-game point streak (5a). He's tallied two points (1g, 1a) in three games against Columbus this season, and the team is 14-2-5 when he factors in on the scoresheet. … Bill Peters is one win shy of 100 in the NHL.


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