It’s a great day for America.
This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s 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 the day rolls on.
A preview of tonight’s game can be found below. The Hurricanes will be on the ice for a 10:30 a.m. morning skate at PNC Arena. Check back here then for roster notes, quotes and plenty more!Last updated: 4:45 p.m.
BEFORE THE FACEOFF4:45 p.m.
Amber Jaye sets the table for tonight's match-up between the Rangers and Hurricanes!
LINEUP NOTES AND PETERS QUOTES11:45 a.m.
The Hurricanes will ice the same lineup they did on Thursday in a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, head coach Bill Peters said after the morning skate.
Though Eric Staal did not participate in the skate, as was also the case on Thursday, he will again center Nathan Gerbe and Chris Terry.
"The best thing to do with what he's got right now is to just limit the time he actually skates other than game time," Peters said. "Hopefully the few days at Christmas get him over the hump, and he can resume skating at practice and pregame."
Though Alexander Semin (lower body) and John-Michael Liles (upper body) actively participated in the morning skate, neither will return tonight.
"Getting real close," Peters said.
Cam Ward will get the start in net. He is 10-12-3 with a 2.46 goals-against average and two shutouts in 26 career games against New York.
More from Peters:On victories over some of the top teams in the NHL:
"I thought you were going to say we beat the Leafs, Predators and ourselves. When we've won those games, we haven't beat ourselves. We haven't made it harder than it needs to be. ... [On Thursday] I thought we played a very good game. We started on time and didn't make those mistakes that end up in the back of our net. It's more about how we play on each given night than who we play against. Every team you play against in this league is more than capable of beating you, so it's about us coming with the right mindset and playing with energy."On the similarities between the Leafs and Rangers:
"Both teams are hot coming in, very hot in their last 10, and both have good goaltending. It's a very similar test, and it will be a fun game."On managing the team over the last three games before Christmas:
"Just more maintenance, body maintenance. Making sure you have energy ready to go to finish this pre-Christmas stretch."
CANES AND RANGERS CLASH IN MARQUEE MATCH-UP6:00 a.m.
As one streak ended, does another one begin?
The Carolina Hurricanes will look to make it two wins in a row when they face off when the New York Rangers in the first game of a back-to-back, home-and-home set.
Carolina is coming off a 4-1 over the Toronto Maple Leafs, a well-deserved two points that snapped a season-long six-game losing skid.
“It has been awhile, but the guys played great. We got off to a good start, and to be able to score the first goals was a relief,” said Cam Ward, who made 25 saves in his ninth win of the season, after the game. “Tonight you could sense more confidence and belief that things were going to go our way.
“Overall, to get that winning atmosphere in the locker room is a lot of fun.”
Ward was awarded the team’s fireman’s helmet for his performance, as he became the first repeat recipient.
“He has been solid forever. My bag was getting heavy the last couple of weeks, so it’s time for him to get a work out in,” Andrej Sekera said. “He deserves it. He made some huge saves for us, and we owed him that one.”
The Rangers are winners of four in a row, and with 34 points at 15-10-4, they rank fourth in the Metropolitan Division.
This is the second of five games between the two teams this season. The Canes earned a point in the first meeting on Oct. 16 at Madison Square Garden, a 2-1 victory in the shootout for New York. In that game, Chris Terry, who scored the Canes’ first goal against Toronto on Thursday night, netted Carolina’s lone goal, and Anton Khudobin stopped 33 of 34 shots.
Alexander Semin, who has missed the last five games with an upper-body injury, is questionable for tonight’s game. Jiri Tlusty (upper body) and Andrej Nestrasil (upper body) are doubtful, while John-Michael Liles (upper body) also remains a question mark.
NOTES: New York has won 12 of the last 13 meetings between the two teams, and they’ve scored four or more goals in nine of those games. … Andrej Sekera (1g, 2a) and Elias Lindholm (1g, 1a) have points in two straight games.