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Gameday: Predators vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

Nice.

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 Nashville Predators 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.

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

Last updated: 6:50 p.m.


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
6:50 p.m.

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

Video: Tools to Victory: NSH vs. CAR 


IN THE ROOM
3:35 p.m.

Hear from defenseman Brett Pesce and head coach Bill Peters, who preview tonight's Predators-Hurricanes match-up.

Video: Brett Pesce: "Manage them properly"

Video: Bill Peters: "Clean up details"


PREGAME: PETERS
12:20 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters spoke with the media following the Canes' morning skate. Here are some highlights.

On tonight's opponent: "They're playing well. They're not giving up much. They went into Washington and won a real well-played game against a quality opponent. It will be fun tonight.

On the morning skate: "There was some good jump. We've had some good jump for quite awhile, actually. It was a strong segment we just finished. ... Now we've got to continue to play well and clean up a few details. There's not a lot of practice time with the rhythm we're in. Got to cover a few things today that should help us moving forward."

On the team's play right now: "Contributions throughout the lineup. I thought getting McGinn back was huge, especially with the timing of losing McClement at the same time. That was a big step. Wallmark came up and played well, but now that emergency recall is over with with Phil getting back into the lineup. We're getting healthier, too. That always helps."

On Elias Lindholm: "He's playing real well. This is as good as he's played, still a very young guy early in his career. ... I'll tell you what, the way he's playing right now is outstanding."


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

It looks like Phil Di Giuseppe, who has missed the team's last six games with an upper-body injury, is set to draw back into the lineup.

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

Slavin-Faulk
Hanifin-Pesce
Dahlbeck-Murphy

Lack
Ward

Matt Tennyson looks to be the healthy extra on defense. Valentin Zykov (upper body) skated this morning in a yellow, no-contact sweater.

Tweet from @NHLCanes: It's #Canes gameday! Morning skate is underway. #NSHvsCAR #Redvolution pic.twitter.com/x63GxKQjZy


CANES HOST PREDATORS TO CLOSE HOMESTAND
6:00 a.m.

The Carolina Hurricanes close out a three-game homestand when they host the Nashville Predators for the first and only time this season on Saturday night.

The Hurricanes are coming off a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild, in which Victor Rask scored the game-winning goal in the waning minutes of the game and Eddie Lack made 30 saves on 31 shots.

"I felt pretty good out there. I saw the puck well," Lack said. "It wasn't always pretty technically and everything like that, but I felt like I battled. It's two huge points for us."

That game concluded a five-game segment for the team in which the Canes recorded a 3-0-2 record, good for eight of a possible 10 points.

"We're still pushing hard," head coach Bill Peters said. "Out of this five-game segment, we went 3-0-2, which is eight points. The two games we didn't win, we never trailed until the game was over in overtime. It was a good segment and some good teams in there. Now it gets a little tougher with some games on the road, but I like the way we're playing."

Before the Hurricanes hit the road for four consecutive games that will take them up and down the East coast twice, they host the Predators. Nashville, after going winless in four straight games to begin the month of March, has now strung together three consecutive victories, including two straight in overtime. Heading into Saturday's action, the Predators sit in third place in the Central Division with 81 points (35-24-11).

The last meeting between these two teams occurred much earlier in the season on Nov. 4 in Nashville. The Canes skated away with a 3-2 shootout win after Jaccob Slavin scored the shootout deciding goal and Cam Ward made 25 saves on 27 shots and stopped all three shooters he saw in the skills competition.

Fast forward four-and-a-half months, and the two teams meet for the second and final time this season. After Lack's first-star-worthy performance on Thursday night, the Hurricanes could opt to turn back to him in between the pipes.

"Well, he sure deserves it," Peters said. "I don't know who could screw that decision up, but we'll see."

The Hurricanes got the services of Brock McGinn back on Thursday. McGinn had missed the team's prior eight games with an upper-body injury. Good timing, too, since Jay McClement fell out of the lineup due to a lower-body ailment.

"He looked really good out there. He was banging bodies," Elias Lindholm said of McGinn. "It's fun to see him back."

CANESPR NOTES: The schedule pivots to Philadelphia on Sunday, marking the 14th of 17 back-to-back sets this season for the Hurricanes. The team is 7-3-3 in the front halves and 6-4-3 in the back halves thus far this season. … Lindholm has points in five straight games (1g, 4a), and he set a new career high for assists in a single season with his team-leading 29th helper on Rask's game-winning tally on Thursday.


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