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Gameday: Oilers vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

TGI(Canes)F!

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight's tilt featuring the Edmonton Oilers 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.

The Hurricanes will be on the ice at PNC Arena for a 10:30 a.m. morning skate and, as always, we'll be rinkside to bring you the latest.

Last updated: 2:45 p.m.


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
2:45 p.m.

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

Video: Tools to Victory: EDM vs. CAR


LINEUP NOTES AND PETERS QUOTES
12:10 p.m.

The Hurricanes' starting goaltender will be a game-time decision tonight, head coach Bill Peters said. Cam Ward left the morning skate very early and was being evaluated when Peters spoke with the media.

"I haven't gotten an update from there," Peters said.

Here's more from the Canes' bench boss.

On what type of game he expects tonight: "I think it's going to be a fast game. I think once it gets going there's no stopping it. It's got a chance to be a very fast game."

On the Oilers 2-0 loss in Nashville on Thursday night: "I thought they played really well and had chances to score. I thought goalies in both ends in that game last night were very good. They played the way we thought they would, and they will be equally as good, if not more desperate here tonight."

On facing Connor McDavid: "You want to get on him early, have good angles and good sticks and a real intelligent plan. He's fast. If you give him room, he's going to cut East-West on you and make a lot of plays."

Video: Bill Peters: "Game-time decision"


CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
10:40 a.m.

No surprises in the Hurricanes lines today, as head coach Bill Peters said he'd be using the same lineup that topped the Philadelphia Flyers 5-1.

Skinner-Ryan-Stempniak
Aho-Staal-Lindholm
McGinn-Rask-Teravainen
Nordstrom-McClement-Stalberg

Hainsey-Faulk
Slavin-Pesce
Hanifin-Dahlbeck

Cam Ward was in the typical starter's crease, but he left the skate very early. We'll check on his status with Peters in just a bit.

Tweet from @NHLCanes: #TGICF pic.twitter.com/EXY32RIQir


CANES TAKE ON McDAVID, OILERS
6:00 a.m.

The Carolina Hurricanes rediscovered their brand of hockey following the All-Star break in a commanding 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Now, in the team's final home game until after the mid-February five-day bye week, the challenge before the Hurricanes is to continue that against an unfamiliar Western Conference opponent.

"When everyone is dialed in and competing at a high level, we're a good team," head coach Bill Peters said after Wednesday's practice at Raleigh Center Ice.

The Hurricanes' offense was sparked on Tuesday by Sebastian Aho's first career hat-trick. The five goals the Canes put past Steve Mason equaled the amount scored in their previous five games combined. On the defensive side of the puck, the Canes limited the Flyers to just six shots on goal for about 50 minutes; late third-period power plays helped pad the Flyers' otherwise extremely limited shot totals. 

"I thought our good defense, the ability to defend and not spend too much time in our zone, led to the offense," Peters said after the game.

Tonight, the front half of the team's 11th back-to-back set of the season, the Canes draw the Edmonton Oilers, who they haven't faced since the first week of the regular season. This also marks sophomore phenom Connor McDavid's first career trip to Raleigh.

"He's got everything. He's got the updated software. He thinks the game and sees the game at a high, high level, and he plays it at a high level," Peters said. "He's going to have the puck lots and get lots of ice time. He's a factor in the game each and every game you see him."

So, how can the Hurricanes contain him? It's a team effort on defense, the head coach explained, and the Canes can try to work match-ups in their favor.

"We're not going to get what we want every time," he said. "I would think we'll try to get Jordo out there a little bit."

After surrendering three-goal leads in their first two games of the regular-season, the Hurricanes spotted Edmonton a three-goal lead of their own in game No. 3. Lee Stempniak's two goals in a span of 56 seconds early in the third period gave the Canes life, but they were edged 3-2.

The Oilers were shut out by Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators by a score of 2-0 on Thursday night. After scoring 15 goals in three consecutive wins prior to the All-Star break, the Oilers have now dropped two straight since.

Following a pair of practice days in Raleigh, Peters wouldn't commit to a starting goaltender just yet. Eddie Lack has rejoined the team after missing two months with a pair of concussions. The 29-year-old Swede completed a two-game conditioning stint in Charlotte during the All-Star break and stopped 59 of 62 shots (.952 save percentage). 

"Eddie has looked good this week coming off two games in the American League, so we've got two viable options," Peters said.

Also factoring into the decision: the Hurricanes travel to Brooklyn to face the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

"We would love to be able to split them," Peters said. "We want to watch the game, too, and see how the goaltender that plays plays and make a decision on that."

CANESPR NOTES: The Hurricanes are 5-3-2 in the front halves of back-to-back sets and 6-4-0 in the second halves this season. … Elias Lindholm recorded two assists in the Canes' win over Philadelphia on Tuesday. Carolina is 11-2-0 this season when Lindholm posts an assist.


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