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Gameday: Flyers vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

Back in black.

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight's Metropolitan Division showdown between the Philadelphia Flyers 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 the Hurricanes 10:30 a.m. morning skate at PNC Arena to bring you the latest.

Last updated: 4:20 p.m.


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
4:20 p.m.

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

Video: Tools to Victory: PHI vs. CAR 


IN THE ROOM: MORNING SKATE
1:10 p.m.

Hear from forwards Jeff Skinner and Jordan Staal after today's morning skate.

Video: Jeff Skinner: "Up to us to bear down"

Video: Jordan Staal: "We have to win games"


PREGAME: PETERS
12:00 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters spoke with the media after his team's first morning skate since the All-Star break. Here are some highlights.

On the All-Star break: "I think the break came at a good time for us. We needed the break, we got the break and now we'll see how we respond."

On the first game after a break: "I think it will be tight. The execution will be interesting to see early. You lose a little bit of timing, and that's reality. Just with the importance of the game, I think it will be a highly-contested game."

On the first two games against the Flyers: "We were watching head-to-head clips yesterday and this morning, and it's been a long time [since those games]. They play their game. They're a dangerous team on the rush. ... We've got to worry about getting our game in order."

On the five-game losing streak and moving on: "It feels like it's been a long time since we've played. It really does. It feels like it's been forever. I think everybody is ready to go and reset, and away we go tonight."

Video: Bill Peters: "We have to worry about our game"


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

Line-wise, nothing has changed from Monday's practice, except for the addition of Justin Faulk, of course. Here's the lineup you can expect to see tonight.

Skinner-Ryan-Stempniak
McGinn-Rask-Teravainen
Aho-Staal-Lindholm
Nordstrom-McClement-Stalberg

Hainsey-Faulk
Slavin-Pesce
Hanifin-Dahlbeck

Ward
Lack

Ryan Murphy, Matt Tennyson and Ty Rattie will be tonight's healthy extras.


CANES HOST FLYERS IN PIVOTAL DIVISIONAL MATCH-UP
6:00 a.m.

As they were inching ever so close to a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Carolina Hurricanes hit a challenging portion of their schedule and now have lost five straight games.

The Canes have some work ahead of them to climb back in to the playoff picture, and tonight's match-up against the Philadelphia Flyers, who currently occupy that second wild card spot with 56 points, is a critical one in their postseason pursuit.

"It's huge. Everyone wants to figure out playoff projections and how many points you need to get in, but you've got to win games against certain teams," head coach Bill Peters said after a Monday afternoon practice. "It goes a long way to closing the gap if you can beat somebody in regulation that's ahead of you in the standings. We need to get off to a good start, and that's our opportunity against Philly."

The Hurricanes were shut out 3-0 by the Los Angeles Kings in their final game prior to the All-Star break. Following a weekend away from the rink to unplug and recharge the batteries, the Hurricanes got back to work on Monday in preparation for the Flyers.

"We had good pace," Peters said. "Guys were excited to be back and had a little more jump. It was good and good use of the time off."

The Hurricanes unveiled a new look to their forward lines at Monday's practice. Derek Ryan centered Jeff Skinner and Lee Stempniak, Rask was in between Brock McGinn and Teuvo Teravainen and Jordan Staal anchored Elias Lindholm and Sebastian Aho on the top three lines, while Jay McClement remained with Joakim Nordstrom and Viktor Stalberg.

"We've gone awhile without scoring on a consistent basis, and some guys are in four-, five-, six-game droughts, so it's time to change," Peters explained. "We were as patient as we could be with the lines, and I like the looks of these new lines."

As much as the schedule becomes increasingly dense in March, the next two weeks set up nicely for the Canes prior to their five-day bye week. Carolina will play five games over a span of 12 days, a stretch that includes three divisional tests and two cross-conference battles.

Philadelphia's bye week occurred in the middle of January and after dropping the first game back, a 4-1 loss to New Jersey at home, the Flyers were winners of three straight, defeating both New York teams and Toronto prior to the All-Star break. The Flyers skated away 4-3 winners in a back-and-forth contest in their last visit to Raleigh on Oct. 30. Brandon Manning's shorthanded tally in the third period was the difference.

CANESPR NOTES: The Hurricanes have won six of the last eight games against the Flyers at PNC Arena (6-1-1). … Carolina paces the league in takeaways with 480, and Jaccob Slavin has recorded a team high of 43.


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