In the last week of the preseason, the Carolina Hurricanes will finally play a game at PNC Arena.
The Canes host the Washington Capitals in their fifth of six preseason games tonight. The Caps shut out the Hurricanes 2-0 just over a week ago in the District of Columbia, but Carolina since secured two victories over the weekend against New York and Ottawa.
“I expect a better consistent effort,” head coach Bill Peters said of tonight’s match-up. “I thought we started well in D.C. and had a good 20 minutes. They took it to us in the middle, it’s a one-goal game and then we have a turnover on their second goal. We need to score. We didn’t score in their building. They’re good defensively, and Holtby is an elite goaltender. We have to earn our opportunities to generate offense and finish when we do get them.”
With Washington in town tonight and Pittsburgh on Friday, 120 minutes of exhibition hockey remain for Peters and his coaching staff to answer some final questions they may have about their group.
“We’ve got to learn more about our team,” Peters said. “We’ve got a veteran group going up front and a young guy in all three pairs on the back-end. They’ve earned the opportunity to continue to play and get evaluated.”
One of those aforementioned young guys is Jaccob Slavin, who will pair with Justin Faulk tonight.
“We [make roster decisions] on merit, and he’s been arguably our best young D-man through Traverse City until today, so we’re going to put him in another game and continue to evaluate him,” Peters said. “He’s a very good skater, a big man with a good stick. He’s got his stick involved in seams and lanes, and he plays confident.”
Ron Hainsey was slated to play, but he missed the morning skate and will be held out of tonight’s game. Hainsey collided with Jeff Skinner in practice on Tuesday, and he left briefly before returning for the tail-end of the skate.
“It shouldn’t be anything serious,” Peters said. “I would think he’s available on the weekend if we want to play him.”
Eddie Lack, who has a 1.69 goals against average and a .949 save percentage in 71 minutes of exhibition action, is slated to play the full 60 minutes tonight.
If you can’t be at PNC Arena tonight, Chuck Kaiton will have the call on WRALSportsFan.com and in the WRAL Sports Fan mobile app, and as always, we’ll have live in-game updates on @Canes_Gameday.
Extras: McGinn, Ryan, Nestrasil, Hainsey, Wisniewski, Murphy, Fleury
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