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Gameday: Sabres vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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Bitterly cold weather. A game against the Buffalo Sabres. This seems all too familiar …

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s game between the Buffalo Sabres 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.

A preview of tonight’s game can be found below. The Canes will hold a 10:30 a.m. morning skate at PNC Arena, which you can watch live via Storm Surge on CarolinaHurricanes.com and in the Canes official mobile app. Check back here for plenty more!

Last updated: 5:00 p.m.



BEFORE THE FACEOFF
5:00 p.m.

Setting the table for tonight's Sabres-Canes face off!




BOYCHUK, JORDAN CLEAR WAIVERS
2:00 p.m.

Zach Boychuk and Michal Jordan cleared waivers at noon today, and they were subsequently assigned to Charlotte. That personnel move made room for the activation of Andrej Nestrasil and John-Michael Liles from injured reserve. Liles will play tonight, while Nestrasil will not.

More newsy details on that transaction can be found here.



CANES LINEUP, PLUS PETERS QUOTES
11:30 a.m.

The Hurricanes have shuffled around their group just a tad for tonight's game against Buffalo.

"We're looking to break out," head coach Bill Peters said of his team's offense. "We might as well do it tonight if we get the opportunity."

Here's what to expect:

E. Staal-J. Staal-Lindholm
Gerbe-Rask-Tlusty
Skinner-Nash-Semin
Malone-McClement-Dwyer

Sekera-Faulk
Hainsey-Liles
Gleason-Murphy

Ward
Khudobin

Alexander Semin will draw back into the lineup tonight, skating on the right wing with Jeff Skinner and Riley Nash to his left. Semin last played on Dec. 21 in New York. He has one goal and five assists in 22 games this season.

"It should be a line that spends some time in the offensive zone," Peters said. "We want to score more as a team, and if we can get some individuals to start scoring, collectively that improves our chances."

Chris Terry and Andrej Nestrasil will be the scratches up front.

John-Michael Liles will return as well after missing five games with the flu, and Brett Bellemore will be the scratch on defense.

Cam Ward gets the nod in net, his second straight start. He made 23 saves in a 3-2 loss at Nashville on Tuesday night.

More from Peters:

On how Liles and Semin could help offense: "On the back-end, John-Michael can move the puck. Sems has scored in this league in the past, so we need him to start scoring again."

On the expectations for Semin and his line: "The expectations haven't changed. ... He knows what's expected of him. With that line, it's no secret. You’ve got Jeff Skinner and Alexander Semin on a line together. They’re not out there to play against the other team’s top line and shut them down. They’re there to generate offense, and there’s an expectation of that.”



CANES HOST SLUMPING SABRES
6:00 a.m.

SABRES vs. HURRICANES
Sabres vs. Hurricanes
PNC ARENA | 7 p.m.
TV: FOX SPORTS CAROLINAS | RADIO: 99.9 FM
ARTICLES
CANES PROSPECTS SHINE AT WORLD JUNIORS
TWEETMAIL NO. 46: DADS TRIP & MORE
VIDEOS
LIVE FROM MORNING SKATE: STORM SURGE
WHAT'S UP WEDNESDAY: JAN. 7
GAMEDAY LINKS
BUY TICKETS
IN-GAME TWITTER
FIRST GOAL CONTEST
After suffering their first defeat of the 2015 calendar year in Nashville on Tuesday night, the Carolina Hurricanes return home to face the slumping Buffalo Sabres.

The Sabres come in to tonight’s Eastern Conference match-up having lost five in a row and nine of their last 10. The Canes, meanwhile, won two straight games by the score of 2-1 to begin 2015 but dropped a 3-2 decision in Nashville on Tuesday.

In that game, the Hurricanes tallied their pair of goals on the power play, with Eric Staal and Justin Faulk finding the back of the net in the first and third periods, respectively. As has been the case recently, offensive production at five-on-five was absent.

“That was obviously lacking a little bit. We just need to be strong on it in their end,” Jordan Staal said after the game. “I think we give the puck away a little too much when we’re cycling and trying to create offensive zone time. We’re just making it easy for the other team, I guess.”

“You’ve got to have the puck. You’ve got to make plays. You’ve got to want the puck, and when you get it, you have to keep it off the wall to execute,” head coach Bill Peters said. “I don’t think we executed very much in the second half of the game.”

The Hurricanes come home, where they have won two straight games and earned points in four of their last five games. Just four of Buffalo’s 14 wins on the season have come on the road. Meanwhile, eight of the Canes’ 12 wins have come at PNC Arena. Additionally, the Hurricanes have won four of the last five games and are 9-3-2 in the last 14 meetings between the two teams in Raleigh.

In advance of a number of previously injured players nearing a return to the lineup, the Canes placed forward Zach Boychuk and defenseman Michal Jordan on waivers on Wednesday. Alexander Semin could draw back into the lineup, as could Andrej Nestrasil or John-Michael Liles pending activation from injured reserve.

NOTES: The Canes were a perfect 2-for-2 on the penalty kill on Tuesday in Nashville. They have not allowed a power-play goal in eight straight games, killing off 22 penalties in that stretch. The team owns an 86.1 penalty killing percentage on the season, which ranks fifth in the NHL.



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