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Gameday: Lightning vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

And, we're back!

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information you need to know for tonight's match-up featuring the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes. Make Hurricanes.com a regular stop throughout the day, as we update this hub with notes, videos, photos and more as puck drop draws near.

We'll be bringing you the latest from the Hurricanes morning skate, which begins at 10:30 a.m. at PNC Arena.

Last updated: 5:10 p.m.


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
5:10 p.m.

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

Video: Tools to Victory: TB vs CAR


IN THE ROOM: WILLIAMS & HANIFIN
4:50 p.m.

Justin Williams and Noah Hanifin spoke with the cameras after the morning skate.

Video: Justin Williams: "We're not an average team"

Video: Noah Hanifin: "Redeem ourselves"


IN THE ROOM: BILL PETERS
12:35 p.m.

Head coach Bill Peters met with the media following the Canes' morning skate. Here are some highlights from his availability, full video of which can also be found below.

On the team's performance through six games: "We haven't had a rhythm to the season yet. We're going to get in that rhythm this week. I'm looking forward to that. ... When we've played well, we've played with pace and been efficient. When we've struggled, we've made poor decisions with the puck."

On the remaining schedule for October: "We've got a great week. ... We're going to know what we're all about by the end of the week. It will be great."

On tonight's opponent: "They're playing real well, ushing the pace offensively and getting it done on specialty teams. I like the challenge."

Video: Bill Peters: "Haven't had a rhythm"


CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
10:30 a.m.

Head coach Bill Peters has tweaked his forward lines slightly heading into tonight's match-up, but the defensive pairs remain consistent.

Aho-Staal-Lindholm
McGinn-Rask-Teravainen
Skinner-Ryan-Williams
Nordstrom-Kruger-Jooris

Slavin-Pesce
Hanifin-Faulk
Fleury-van Riemsdyk

Darling
Ward

We'll go inside the room and speak with the head coach following the skate.

Tweet from @NHLCanes: #TBLvsCAR morning skate is about to begin. pic.twitter.com/stitU1lKw8


CANES RETURN HOME TO HOST LIGHTNING
12:00 a.m.

The Carolina Hurricanes are back home after spending a week on the road, where they collected four out of a possible eight points traveling through Western Canada and Dallas.

There was some good and some that needs improving to take away from the trip, but the Canes return home six games into the 2017-18 regular season above hockey .500 (3-2-1) and ready to hit their stride.

"You'd always want more, but if you can play .500 hockey on the road, you'd take that for the most part. It's early and it's a process," head coach Bill Peters said after a Monday practice at PNC Arena. "We're trying to become more consistent in how we play."

Take, for instance, the Hurricanes' 2-1 win in Calgary. It was perhaps the most complete effort the team has put forth this season. They scored first, they built on that lead and they clamped down to close the game out. Two nights later in Dallas, though, the Canes found themselves neck-deep in a four-goal hole. They dug out to make it a one-goal game in the third period but couldn't find the equalizer in time to salvage points.

"We weren't happy with the way we played in game four. That's the taste you leave with. At the end of the trip, you don't play to your identity and it wasn't a very consistent effort throughout the game for us," Peters said. "For the most part, we've got to be the hardest working team each and every night to give ourselves a chance."

Having played the least number of games in the NHL so far this season (alongside Minnesota), the Canes' schedule now fills up in the last week of October. The team will play four games, including three at home, over a stretch of six days.

"I think our execution will be better. We'll get battle-tested and hardened in the next six days," Peters said. "All good teams. We're looking forward to the challenge."

It begins on Tuesday when the Hurricanes host an old Southeast Division foe in the Tampa Bay Lightning, who pace the league with a 7-1-1 record and 15 points. The team is buoyed by a dynamic offense led by Steven Stamkos, who leads the league in points (18) and assists (15), and Nikita Kucherov, who's tied for the league lead in goals (10).

"They're on fire right now. Kucherov. Stamkos. Their power play is dynamic, and they have offensive depth throughout the lineup," Peters said. "We've got to tighten up and be on top of our game."

The Canes have a hot goal scorer of their own in Jeff Skinner, who leads the team with five goals in six games. Dating back to March of last season, Skinner has scored 22 goals in his last 25 games.

CANESPR NOTES: Elias Lindholm is expected to play in his 300th NHL game tonight. The 22-year-old Swedish forward is also an assist shy of 100 in his career. … Brock McGinn tallied two assists on Saturday night in Dallas. The Canes are 2-1-0 this season when McGinn records an assist. Last season, the Canes were 8-1-0 when McGinn recorded a point.


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