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Gameday: Islanders vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

It's like last night, but in Raleigh.

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight's back-to-back rematch between the New York Islanders 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.

No morning skate for the Hurricanes today, who arrived in rainy Raleigh after midnight last night (or, technically, this morning). In any case, we'll have all relevant gameday content right here.

Last updated: 6:45 p.m.


CANES LINES: WARM-UPS
6:45 p.m.

Defenseman Justin Faulk is warming up as if he'll be in the Canes' lineup tonight, and based on line rushes, he'll pair with Noah Hanifin, which is a slight tweak from a night prior.

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Slavin-Pesce
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Ward
Lack

The puck drops at PNC Arena in 20 minutes!


WARD GOES BACK-TO-BACK, FAULK QUESTIONABLE
5:00 p.m.

The Hurricanes will go back to Cam Ward in net tonight, according to head coach Bill Peters.

"He's got five out of the last six points and will go again here tonight," Peters said.

The plan elsewhere is to also leave the lineup the same as it was last night in Brooklyn, but defenseman Justin Faulk is questionable.

"I know he blocked a shot late in the third, so we'll see," Peters said. "Murph will warm up, and if Faulk can't go, Murph will play. If Faulk can go, we'll stay the same."

Here's more from the head coach's afternoon availability.

On if he expects the same kind of game that played out a night prior: "No. I don't expect a hat trick from a D on either team. I'd like to continue to score and generate offense, but importantly, too, we shut it down a little bit better as the game went along and only gave up five chances through the final 40 minutes. We tightened up a little bit and got rewarded for it."

On if he knows what to expect: "It's been crazy that way. There have been a lot of goals going in, and we'll see if that trend continues or not. If it is, we have to make sure we continue to finish. I thought we had a lot of good looks."

On Lucas Wallmark in game two: "I think Wally will be better tonight. Not that he was poor, he wasn't. He was solid, but I think game two will be a little easier for him."

Tweet from @MSmithCanes: Hockey here soon. #NYIvsCAR pic.twitter.com/kGHU543JMn


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
3:55 p.m.

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

Video: Tools to Victory: NYI vs CAR


STAGE SET FOR CANES-ISLES REMATCH
6:00 a.m.

A home-and-home, back-to-back set between the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders now shifts to Raleigh where the two Metropolitan Division opponents will square off for the second time in less than 24 hours.

The Hurricanes will be looking for an encore performance after Monday night, when they doubled up the Islanders in an 8-4 win in Brooklyn. Defenseman Jaccob Slavin netted his first career hat trick, and Justin Faulk and Jeff Skinner each added a pair of goals in a frenzied 60 minutes of hockey.

"First off, the two points were huge there," Slavin said. "Obviously the hat trick is icing on the cake."

The season series between the Hurricanes and Islanders thus far has been defined by one distinct aspect of hockey: offense. The two teams have combined for 32 goals in just three games, all Hurricanes victories by a total margin of 20-12.

"I wish I knew, and I wish I could bottle it and use it," head coach Bill Peters said when asked about his team's offensive success against New York this season. "We'd love to score more. We've had our challenges offensively, but for whatever reason against the Islanders we've been able to score."

Tonight, the Hurricanes would ideally like to tighten up defensively and manage the puck a bit better, but they've shown they are comfortable playing in a high-scoring match.

"We've got to find a way to get a win, so whatever it's going to take to get a win tomorrow," Peters said. "I don't think there's going to be 12 goals tomorrow, but if there is, let's make sure we're on the right side of the ledger."

Slavin's hat trick - he said he doesn't remember another, so it's potentially his first in his entire hockey career - was the first by a Canes' defenseman since Joe Corvo scored three goals against Ottawa on March 16, 2008. Additionally, Slavin and Faulk's multi-goal games were the first by two defensemen in the league since Shea Weber and Ryan Suter accomplished it with Nashville on Oct. 22, 2009.

"It went in tonight for whatever reason. We were able to score some goals, and I thought we did a good job getting through the neutral zone with possession," Peters said. "We've improved our transition game, and tonight we got rewarded with some offense."

Despite the lopsided loss on Monday, the Islanders remain a point out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference coming into tonight's game.

"Going into tomorrow, both teams will probably want to tighten up a little bit, but we want to keep trying to create offense as much as we can going down the stretch," Skinner said.

"Two very offensively-skilled teams and two teams that play pretty quick," Slavin said. "Obviously we've got to tighten things up defensively and not allow so many goals from our side of the ice."

Peters said Monday morning that his plan was likely to utilize both goaltenders in a back-to-back situation with travel, so Eddie Lack figures to be the Canes' starter.

CANESPR NOTES: After Monday's win, the Hurricanes are 24-8-6 in their last 38 games against the Islanders. … The Canes are now 7-3-3 in the front halves of back-to-back sets this season and are looking to improve upon their 6-4-2 mark in the back halves.


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