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Gameday: Rangers vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

Back home! … for a few days at least.

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight's Metropolitan Division match-up between the New York Rangers 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 their usual 10:30 a.m. morning skate at PNC Arena, and that's where we'll be to bring you the latest.

Last updated: 6:20 p.m.


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
6:20 p.m.

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

Video: Tools to Victory: NYR vs. CAR


ZYKOV BRINGS PHYSICAL EDGE TO CANES' LINEUP
4:05 p.m.

With forwards Brock McGinn and Phil Di Giuseppe sidelined due to upper-body injuries, the Carolina Hurricanes are in search of some physicality in their lineup.

Enter Valentin Zykov, who was recalled on Wednesday afternoon from the Charlotte Checkers and will make his NHL debut with the Canes tonight. The 21-year-old Russian winger measures in at 6-foot-1 and 224 pounds and isn't afraid to venture into the dirty areas of the ice.

READ FULL STORY

Video: Valentin Zykov: "It's very exciting"


IN THE ROOM
1:30 p.m.

Hear from head coach Bill Peters and forward Jeff Skinner after today's morning skate.

Video: Bill Peters: "We're in a rhythm"

Video: Jeff Skinner: "Shot-first mentality"


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

Valentin Zykov, recalled yesterday from Charlotte, joined the Hurricanes at their morning skate, and he'll skate on the right wing with Jordan Staal and Sebastian Aho. Here's the rest of the lineup.

Aho-Staal-Zykov
Skinner-Rask-Lindholm
Teravainen-Ryan-Stempniak
Nordstrom-McClement-Brown

Slavin-Faulk
Hanifin-Pesce
Dahlbeck-Murphy

Ward
Lack

Brock McGinn (upper body) participated in the skate, though he was wearing a yellow, no-contact sweater. More from inside the room soon!


CANES CLOSE OUT SEASON SERIES WITH RANGERS
6:00 a.m.

Following a two-game jaunt out West, the Carolina Hurricanes return to Raleigh where they will play five of their next six games beginning tonight with a Metropolitan Division match-up with the New York Rangers.

The Hurricanes were unfortunately unable to string together consecutive wins in their trip to Arizona, to round out a bizarre home-and-home set with the Coyotes, and Colorado. The Canes edged the Coyotes, 2-1, and then struggled to create much offensively in a 3-1 loss to the Avalanche on Tuesday.

"I didn't think we generated a whole bunch from start to finish," head coach Bill Peters said after the game. "We've struggled to score in this five-game segment."

The Hurricanes held a 1-0 advantage over the Avalanche for much of the first 40 minutes until Colorado scored two straight in 46 seconds late in the second period to take a lead they would not surrender.

"I thought we were OK," Peters said. "Two quick ones there at the end of the second obviously turned the tide."

"We were playing quick. We were playing with speed, and our D was getting up in the rush. The forwards were getting it behind their D and working them down low," said Colorado native Jaccob Slavin, who registered an assist in his first NHL game back in his home state. "We got away from that a bit in the third period, and you can't let that happen. You have to be able to play a full 60."

The Hurricanes played down a forward in Colorado after Phil Di Giuseppe suffered an upper-body injury in Arizona.

"It's going to be a little while, it looks like," Peters said prior to Tuesday's game. "It's going to take some time."

His absence was felt against Colorado, as was the absence of Brock McGinn, also out of the lineup with an upper-body injury.

"You miss Ginner and Phil because of the energy and physicality they bring to the game," Peters said. "They drag guys into the battle. Definitely miss those guys."

Perhaps looking to replenish some of that missing edge in their game, the Hurricanes recalled forward Valentin Zykov from the Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday, marking the first NHL recall for the 21-year-old Russian winger.

The Rangers have won three of their first four games to begin the month of March, and they were victorious on back-to-back nights in Florida, shutting out the Lightning, 1-0, and surging past the Panthers, 5-2. The Rangers currently occupy the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with 88 points (43-22-2), trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins by just two points for the third Metropolitan Division playoff spot.

CANESPR NOTES: Jaccob Slavin has posted assists in a career-high five straight games. Additionally, the sophomore defenseman leads the team with a plus-15 rating. … This is the fourth and final game in the four-game season series between the Canes and the Rangers, and with a win, the Canes can force a split.


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