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Gameday: Islanders vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

Back home for 80 and 81.

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight's Metropolitan Division showdown featuring 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.

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

Last updated: 4:50 p.m.


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD TOOLS TO VICTORY
4:50 p.m.

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

Video: Tools to Victory: NYI vs. CAR


IN THE ROOM
3:35 p.m.

Hear from Derek Ryan and Noah Hanifin on how the Hurricanes are approaching their final three games of the season.

Video: Derek Ryan: "Have a lot to play for"

Video: Noah Hanifin: "We have a job to do"

Plus, Andrew Poturalski describes his mindset coming into game No. 2.

Video: Andrew Poturalski: "I know what to expect"


PREGAME: PETERS
1:00 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters spoke with the media briefly after his team's morning skate. Here's a bit of what was discussed.

On the last three games of the season: "We need to get a win. We haven't won in awhile. We need to see what that feels like once again."

On facing the Islanders: "It has been an interesting head-to-head match-up for sure. We want to play better than we did in our last game. We've played real well here recently, but our last game I don't think was our best. We didn't start on time. Credit to Minnesota, who did a good job of coming out and establishing a forecheck."

On the high-scoring season series: "It's tough to figure out. There has been a lot of offense and some good goals scored both ways. You like it on one side of the spectrum, but on the other you'd like to tighten up."

On the status of Cam Ward, who did not skate this morning: "Cam's OK. A little maintenance day. Should be available moving forward. He will back up tonight, for sure."

Video: Bill Peters: "We need to get a win"


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

These lines aren't much different than what the Hurricanes utilized on Tuesday night in Minnesota. The only difference: a flip of right wingers in the top six.

Aho-Staal-Lindholm
Nordstrom-Rask-Teravainen
Skinner-Ryan-Stempniak
Bickell-Poturalski-McGinn

Slavin-Pesce
Hanifin-Faulk
Dahlbeck-Tennyson

Lack
Ward

Cam Ward was not on the ice this morning, so Jorge Alves filled in. Head coach Bill Peters said it was a maintenance day for Ward, who will back up Eddie Lack in net tonight.


CANES RETURN HOME IN FINAL WEEK OF SEASON
6:00 a.m.

Fan Appreciation Week continues at PNC Arena as the Carolina Hurricanes return to Raleigh for their penultimate home game in the 2016-17 regular season against the New York Islanders.

The Hurricanes were mathematically eliminated from Stanley Cup playoff contention on Tuesday night, just prior to a 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild.

"We're going to finish hard. We've got three left, two at home," head coach Bill Peters said. "We've got to do it right. We've done it right for a long period of time here, and we want to finish on a positive note with our effort and attention to detail."

The Hurricanes made a late-season push in March with a franchise-best 13-game point streak (9-0-4) that vaulted the team square into the wild card mix. The Canes have since dropped three straight to begin April, which helped to put an end to their playoff hopes.

"We have to regroup and finish out hard," Jeff Skinner said.

Tuesday night's game in Minnesota was a back-and-forth affair for the first 20 minutes, as each Wild goal was answered by one of the Hurricanes' own. Skinner was involved in all three of his team's goals. The first goal, Lee Stempniak's 200th of his career, Skinner helped set up with a gorgeous cross-ice feed on a rush. The next to Canes' goals belonged to Skinner, who set a new career-high in goals in a season (35) and moved into sole possession of second place on the Canes' all-time goal scoring list (178).

"It was a good job by us to respond," Skinner said. "You score to help the team win, so when you don't win it sucks."

The Islanders, meanwhile, still have an outside shot at making the playoffs, but they'll need to win each of their remaining three games to even keep that hope alive.

Tonight's contest marks the fifth and final meeting of the season between the Hurricanes and Islanders, who have specialized in high-scoring affairs thus far. The two teams have combined for 37 goals in four games this season, and the Canes have outscored the Isles 22-15 and lead the season series 3-0-1.

On Tuesday night in Minnesota, Bryan Bickell returned to NHL game action for the first time since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in early November, and Andrew Poturalski made his NHL debut. Both are expected to be in the lineup tonight.

CANESPR NOTES: The Hurricanes have recorded a 23-11-5 record at home this season. It's the first time since 2008-09 and the sixth time in franchise history that the team has earned 50 or more points at home in a season. … The Canes are 24-8-7 in their last 39 games against the Islanders.


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