Hello, America! I’m the Internet’s Michael Smith. (I’m trying out this introduction since tonight is a nationally televised game.)
If you’re new here, this is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s game in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we update it with line combinations, roster notes, videos, photos and more as the day rolls on.
A quick preview of tonight’s game, which is a 7:30 p.m. faceoff, can be found below. The Canes will be on the ice for a 10:30 a.m. morning skate, so check back here throughout the day for more!
VIDEOS: RINK REPORT AND BEFORE THE FACEOFF
Here are a couple of videos to whet your appetite for tonight's game. First, Amber Jaye goes inside the locker room with Elias Lindholm and head coach Bill Peters in today's Rink Report. Then, she breaks down the game in Before the Faceoff presented by 99.9 FM The Fan.
LINEUP NOTES AND PETERS' QUOTES
Ron Hainsey will draw back into the lineup tonight with Brett Bellemore serving as the lone scratch on defense for the Canes, who will dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Head coach Bill Peters confirmed that Cam Ward would get his second start in net.
Here is some of what Peters had to say in his chat with the media this morning:On the team's mindset:
"Real good," he said. "The guys are energized and ready to play.On the in-room atmosphere:
"You always worry about the atmosphere, the mood in the room and the energy at the rink," he said. "But so far it's been good."On tonight's game:
"It's a big game, for sure. It's an Eastern Conference opponent, and we need to get a win," he said. "We need to get ourselves established at home, and we have a chance tonight to do that."
CANES LINES: MORNING SKATE
With just 11 healthy forwards, the Canes will likely dress seven defensemen tonight, with one of Ron Hainsey or Brett Bellemore drawing back into the lineup after each being a healthy scratch on Long Island.
We'll have definitive lineup information from head coach Bill Peters following the morning skate.
CANES SEARCH FOR FIRST VICTORY AGAINST WINLESS SABRES
One of the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres won’t be winless for long.
The two teams – the Canes at 0-2-0 and the Sabres now at 0-3-0 after falling 5-1 to Anaheim on Monday afternoon – will face off on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in front of a national audience on NBCSN.
“We want to get going for sure. We need a win. We need to play hard for 60 minutes, or 65 if it takes that. And we need to play disciplined,” head coach Bill Peters said after practice on Monday. “I thought we worked hard in New York, but we have to work smart as we work hard. If we combine the two, we’ll like the result.”
The Hurricanes will be attempting to secure their first two points of the 2014-15 regular season with an injury-depleted lineup; in addition to being without Jordan Staal (fractured fibula, 3-4 months) and Jeff Skinner (day-to-day), Eric Staal (upper body) and Patrick Dwyer (lower body) are on the shelf in day-to-day situations.
Now in his 11th career NHL season, Eric Staal has been incredibly durable, having missed just 17 games (15 due to injury). He missed three games with a lower-body injury last season and 10 games in 2009-10 alone.
Tuesday will mark the first game since Feb. 26, 2011 that a Staal brother hasn’t dressed for the Hurricanes, a span of 233 games.
With a healthy crop of forwards dwindling, the Canes will ice Victor Rask, Riley Nash and Jay McClement down the middle. Unless an additional forward is recalled in the morning, the team would likely opt to dress seven defensemen, utilizing Chris Terry and recently recalled Zach Boychuk in rotating shifts.
“We’re getting hit with some injuries right now, but you play through it, and away you go,” Peters said on Monday. “That’s why you have guys down in the minors that are NHL players ready to go and help you out.”
NOTES: Jay Harrison is one game shy of 300 games played with the Hurricanes. … The Canes won the season series in 2013-14, posting a 2-1-0 against Buffalo. … The Hurricanes are 9-2-2 in their last 13 games against Buffalo and 6-1-1 in their last eight.