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Gameday: Kings vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

Hockey goes Hollywood this weekend. But first, Hollywood comes to Raleighwood.

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight's cross-conference match-up between the Los Angeles Kings 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 hold a very limited 10:30 a.m. morning skate, but we'll be rinkside to bring you updates and go inside the locker room with head coach Bill Peters.

Last updated: 6:40 p.m.

6:40 p.m.

Here's how the Hurricanes lined up in warm-ups.




Puck drop is in 30 minutes!

4:30 p.m.

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

Video: Tools to Victory: LAK vs. CAR

11:35 a.m.

Today's very limited morning skate featured injuries and scratches (and the back-up goaltender) on the ice; Ty Rattie, Matt Tennyson, Ryan Murphy, Bryan Bickell, Eddie Lack and Michael Leighton took part. This means that Rattie will come out of the lineup, as center Jay McClement draws back in. Klas Dahlbeck will also dress again tonight, with Tennyson sitting out.

Here are some tidbits from head coach Bill Peters.

On what needs to change in the Hurricanes' game: "Everything needs to be cleaned up. There's not one area of our game where we're playing at the highest level. We were playing quite well for awhile, and then we came off of it a little bit. We got away with it and still continued to win in some high-scoring games. Then the offense dried up, and we're still giving up too much quality and quantity. We've got to tighten up."

On team defense: "We've got to be better in front of [Ward]. We can't give up what we've given up and expected to win. ... We've got to get back to our identity. We've gotten away from what made us successful, and tonight is an opportunity to get back to work."

On expectations for the final game before All-Star Weekend: "A real hard-fought game in which both teams empty the tank. It's the last game for each of us prior to going into the break, so I expect a competitive game."

Video: Bill Peters: "Everything needs to be cleaned up"

6:00 a.m.

All-Star Weekend is looming, but before the Carolina Hurricanes take a brief respite away from the rink, they want to halt a four-game losing streak.

The Hurricanes won four straight games at home in the second week of the month, but they negated that progress by earning zero of a possible eight points in what was one of the toughest stretches of the season against three of the league's top teams. The Hurricanes, who pride themselves on limiting chances against, were outscored 20-5 in that period.

"It's three of the top teams in the league," Ron Hainsey said after the Hurricanes 6-1 loss in Washington on Monday. "It was going to be a challenge with three of them on the road. There are plenty of lessons in there."

"I think we've lost our identity a little bit, but I think we're realistic in what we are and how we have to play," head coach Bill Peters said after a physical practice on Wednesday. "We'll get it back."

The Hurricanes remain in the playoff picture, but they're going to need to start stringing together wins and avoid another tough slide. The Canes are set to play their next three games and eight of their next 11 games at home, where they've assembled a 14-2-1 record in their last 17 games.

"It's tight. There's a lot of teams in the mix," Jordan Staal said after scoring the Canes' lone goal on Monday. "We're right there, but we have to start playing some good hockey. I don't think we deserve it if we're playing like we have lately."

The All-Star break is more condensed than in previous years - the team will be off Friday through Sunday and will resume practicing on Monday afternoon - but perhaps it comes at a beneficial time for the Hurricanes.

"Physically and mentally, for sure," Peters said.

Following the break, the Canes will play just five games over a 12-day stretch prior to their five-day bye week.

"Everyone will be very wise to get away and do some things to stay active and stay busy," Peters said. "When you come back, be ready to go."

The Kings snapped a four-game skid of their own with a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. Los Angeles has 50 points in the standings and comes into tonight's game just a point shy of a wild card spot in the Western Conference.

In the first meeting between these two teams this season on Dec. 8, Derek Ryan scored two goals and Cam Ward made 21 saves in a 3-1 win, the Canes' first victory in Los Angeles since Dec. 8, 2005.

CANESPR NOTES: The Hurricanes are 3-0-1 against the Kings in the last four meetings between the two clubs at PNC Arena, and in the 10 games against the Kings in Raleigh since 1999, the Canes have posted a 6-2-2 record. … Elias Lindholm (2a) and Sebastian Aho (1g, 1a) have each tallied points in two straight games.




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