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Gameday: Sharks vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

What is Left Shark up to these days?

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight's game between the San Jose Sharks 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 to bring you the latest lineup updates, quotes from inside the room and more.

Last updated: 5:30 p.m.


BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA TOOLS TO VICTORY
5:30 p.m.

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

Video: Tools to victory against San Jose


IN THE ROOM: SLAVIN AND TENNYSON
3:30 p.m.

Defenseman Jaccob Slavin disects shot blocking and Matt Tennyson talks about facing his former team in today's post-morning skate videos from inside the Hurricanes' locker room.

Video: Jaccob Slavin: "It's something that's ingrained"

Video: Matt Tennyson: "Good to get first game"


PREGAME: FAULK AND PETERS
12:15 p.m.

Justin Faulk will indeed draw back into the Hurricanes' lineup tonight, head coach Bill Peters confirmed.

"We're going to play him. He's going to play for sure," Peters said. "He's going to probably play with Ronnie. We'll make that decision as we go."

That would be veteran defenseman Ron Hainsey as Faulk's defensive partner, though Faulk skated with Matt Tennyson in the morning skate. Should Hainsey and Faulk be a defensive pairing, Tennyson and Noah Hanifin would likely be another, Peters said.

"It wasn't that long of a layoff, so it should be fine," Faulk said about his return. "Shouldn't be any issues, I don't think."

More from both Peters and Faulk on the lineup and what to expect from tonight's game …

Peters on Tennyson, who will face his former team tonight: "We know he played well enough to deserve another game, more ice time and an opportunity."

Peters on the power play: "That's a fluid situation there. We need to get some power-play results. … When you get a power-play opportunity, you've got to get momentum off it."

Peters on the Sharks: "They've played well. They're 3-0 and haven't given up many goals. They're tight defensively."

Video: Bill Peters: "That's a fluid situation"

Faulk on his weeklong recovery: "I've been getting better every day. Just trying to take every day as a next step. Felt good yesterday in practice."

Faulk on the injury: "I just got hung up on the boards a little bit. … Messed something up."

Faulk on the biggest challenge jumping back into game action: "One of the biggest issues coming back is being able to handle the hits and pressure in a game. You can't really try to get that under your belt in practice."

Video: Justin Faulk: "Every day is a next step"


FAULK TO RETURN?
10:35 a.m.

Justin Faulk was actively involved in the Hurricanes morning skate, and he wasn't wearing the no-contact sweater, either.

Might he return tonight? If so, it looks like he'll pair with Matt Tennyson. Klas Dahlbeck and Ryan Murphy, then, would be the healthy extras.

Everything else line-wise was as projected below. We'll confirm this and bring you more from the room very shortly.


CANES PROJECTED LINEUP
6:00 a.m.

Barring Justin Faulk's return from an upper-body injury, here's how we expect the Hurricanes' lineup to shake out.

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

Slavin-Pesce
Hanifin-Hainsey
Dahlbeck-Tennyson

Cam Ward is the likely starter in net. With this lineup, Andrej Nestrasil and Ryan Murphy would be the healthy extras.


CANES HOMESTAND CONTINUES AGAINST SHARKS
6:00 a.m.

Following a commanding 5-1 divisional win over the Washington Capitals, the Carolina Hurricanes continue their five-game homestand with a match-up against the Western Conference's San Jose Sharks.

The challenge for the Hurricanes is this: build upon their weekend victory and string together consecutive wins for the first time this season.

They'll attempt to do so against one of the top teams in the Pacific Division. The Sharks are in the midst of a six-game road swing and have won the first three games of the trip.

"Big, strong team. They know how to play. Veteran players and good on the back end," head coach Bill Peters said after practice on Monday. "They've got a deep team with some good experience."

Led by the trio of Jordan Staal, Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho, a line that combined for 11 points (4g, 7a), the Hurricanes won their fourth game of the season on Saturday, dispatching the Capitals 5-1. Aho scored his first two goals of the season in a three-point night. The 19-year-old winger now has nine points (2g, 7a) in his first 14 games.

"It felt good, obviously, to break the seal," Peters said of the Finnish rookie. "He's been playing well the whole time."

Staal and the Finns, dubbed the airport-friendly "TSA line," will, of course, remain together for tonight's match-up with the Sharks.

"If you're a winger, you want to play with a centerman like that," Peters said of Staal. "He's a big, strong guy who allows you to start with the puck a lot."

Defenseman Justin Faulk practiced with the Hurricanes on Monday in a yellow, no-contact sweater. He's missed the team's last three games with an upper-body injury.

"Real close. We'll get an update at the end of the day," Peters said. "He was able to do everything minus the battle drill."

Peters said he isn't ruling Faulk out for tonight's game, but the weekend is looking more likely, at this point.

"I think there's a real good chance by Friday," Peters said. "We'll see."

Elsewhere on defense, Matt Tennyson, recalled and placed into the lineup on Saturday, will have the opportunity to face his former team tonight.

"He'll play. He deserves the opportunity to stay in," Peters said. "He managed the puck well. … He looked like he was very composted out there."

CANESPR NOTES: The Hurricanes rank seconds in the league in penalty kill percentage at 90.2 percent. The team has killed off all 14 man disadvantages it's faced in the last six games. … The Hurricanes and Sharks split the two-game 2015-16 season series with either team winning on home ice. … The Canes have won seven of the last 10 meetings between the two teams and five of the last eight in Raleigh.


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