The Carolina Hurricanes open their 2015-16 six-game preseason slate tonight in Washington, as they face off with a familiar Metropolitan Division foe.
“I want to see guys play hard and play with energy,” head coach Bill Peters said. “I want to see who’s got the most desperation in his game. There are a lot of young guys in the game tonight, so it should be exciting.”
Highlighting tonight’s exhibition lineup is the first line of the brothers Staal and newcomer Kris Versteeg. Brad Malone, Riley Nash and Andrej Nestrasil comprise another NHL-experienced line, while Phil Di Giuseppe, Derek Ryan and Sergey Tolchinsky will look to provide a bit of an offensive spark.
“I think we’re going to learn a lot. We learn every day. We learn about our guys, about their compete,” Peters said. “There’s a lot of newness for tonight and tomorrow, and we’re looking forward to catching our guys doing it right.”
A relatively young group of six will man the blue line tonight, with Ron Hainsey serving as the elder statesman.
“It’s half and half. You’ve got a veteran partner in each pair,” Peters said. “We’re going to let them play. We’re not going to worry about match-ups or trying to hide people. We’re going to let them play against whoever it is; if it’s Ovi and Kuznetsov, so be it.”
Eddie Lack will make his Hurricanes debut in net.
The Hurricanes will then flip their lineup for Tuesday night in Pittsburgh; the group not playing tonight will dress tomorrow.
“The guys want to play hockey. They’re in great shape and work at it year-round,” Peters said. “They’re ready to go. They want to play, and we want to watch them play.”
E. Staal-J. Staal-Versteeg
is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.Email