A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …
This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to this Star Wars Night match-up featuring 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, photos and more as puck drop draws near.
A preview of tonight’s tilt is below. After a late night of travel in a back-to-back situation, the Hurricanes will not hold a morning skate, but check back here for any and all updates (and perhaps some Star Wars fun).Last updated: 6:30 p.m.
YOU'RE OUR ONLY HOPE6:30 p.m.
CANES LINEUP NOTES5:00 p.m.
The Hurricanes won't alter their lineup heading into this back-to-back match-up with San Jose other than inserting Cam Ward into the crease. Ward's last start came Feb. 13 against the Islanders, a game in which he left in the second period due to a lower-body injury.
Defenseman Justin Faulk skated this morning, but he remains out of the lineup due to a lower-body injury suffered in practice on Feb. 11. He has an outside shot to play Sunday, Peters said, pending how he responds to the morning skate.
"If we push it hard in the pregame skate ... we'll see," Peters said. "He skated a little bit today, and we'll see how it reacts when he comes back to the rink tonight but more importantly tomorrow. The last time he skated, it didn't react the way we would have liked. That's the key."
The Hurricanes haven't lost consecutive games since Dec. 3, a stretch of 33 games since (18-9-6). They'll look to avoid that fate tonight against a strong San Jose squad.
"They're a good team. You look at their road record, and they are outstanding on the road. I watched their game from last night this morning. They do it right and don't give you much. They're four lines deep up front with size. To me, that poses the biggest problem; their big men skate well, and we're going to have to have all four lines contribute."
SKINNER THE EWOK2:05 p.m.
CANES LOOK TO REBOUND AGAINST SHARKS6:00 a.m.
With just over a quarter of the regular-season schedule remaining and points at a premium, the Carolina Hurricanes will be facing off against the San Jose Sharks in yet another critical match-up.
After dropping a 4-2 decision to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night, the Hurricanes will be looking to avoid losing consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Dec. 3. They’ve played 34 games since, posting an 18-9-6 record in that stretch.
“If [losses] pile up, you’re out of the mix. Fortunately we’re right back in another one tomorrow,” Jordan Staal said after Thursday’s game. “We’ll let this go and get back to work.”
Staal scored one of the Canes’ two tallies in what was a back-and-forth game in Ottawa. Twice the Canes battled back from one-goal deficits, but they could not find the third to again even the score.
“I thought we kept at it. They did a good job of sticking with it too, obviously,” Staal said. “They came up with the extra one at the end, and we couldn’t find the third one.”
Staal’s goal, his second in as many games, gives him four points (2g, 2a) in his last three games, eight points (3g, 5a) in his last six games and 20 points (7g, 13a) in his last 18 games. He also now leads the team in points with 35 (14g, 21a).
The Hurricanes now sit four points out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, with a handful of teams jockeying for limited postseason berths.
“We’ve got to keep skating and keep playing our game,” Eddie Lack said. “Some nights it’s going to go against us like tonight, but I feel like most nights if we play like this, we’re going to get the results we want.”
Cam Ward backed up Lack in net on Thursday night, and Peters said prior to the game that he expects to have Ward available to potentially start Friday against San Jose.
Defenseman Justin Faulk, meanwhile, will likely miss his fifth consecutive game with a lower-body injury he sustained in practice a week ago.
Tonight’s opponents were also in action on Thursday night, topping the Florida Panthers 2-1 in a shootout. It was the team’s third straight win and fourth in their last five games, as they sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 67 points. Tonight’s game is their third in a five-game road swing.CANESPR NOTES:
The Hurricanes have won seven of the last 10 meetings between these two clubs, including five of the last seven in Raleigh. … Carolina is 17-7-3 in back-to-back games this season, tonight marking the latter half of their 14th of 16 back-to-back sets of the season. The team is 9-4-1 in the first halves and 8-3-2 in the second halves.
is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.Email