The Carolina Hurricanes will be officially listed as the home team, but that certainly will not be the reality.
Saturday marks the first of two exhibition games that the Hurricanes will play in neutral-site locations. This evening, they face off against the New York Islanders in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
It’s the third of six preseason matches for the Hurricanes, who are looking to secure their first win of the exhibition season.
“It’s time to take a big step and do things right,” head coach Bill Peters said on Friday. “We’ve got two big lineups going, so we’re excited about seeing them play.”
The Hurricanes made a second round of training camp cuts on Friday morning, trimming their roster by 16 players. 14 of those have or will be assigned to Charlotte (four need to clear waivers), while forward Lucas Wallmark was returned to Sweden, and defenseman Roland McKeown was sent back to Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League.
Now, 33 players remain in camp, and they will all see game action this weekend.
“[Getting numbers down] picks things up. I think our skates Wednesday and today were much better because of it,” Peters said. “We’ve got to take a step here. You think you have lots of time in the preseason, but it goes quick.”
The Canes planned on taking closer to two full squads on this trip to Atlantic Canada, but circumstance bred an opportunity to ice a couple of more consistent and more veteran lineups.
“It’s just the way things are and where we’re at right now,” Peters said. “We’ve got to get [numbers] down and get to work.”
It’s a fairly veteran squad up front for the Hurricanes tonight, as they’ll ice three full lines of NHL-experienced skaters. Brendan Woods, Derek Ryan and Joakim Nordstrom form a forth trio. It’s more of the same story on defense, with only Noah Hanifin and Haydn Fleury not yet having skated in a regular-season NHL game.
Eddie Lack will start in net and is expected to play 30 minutes, with Drew MacIntyre playing the final 30.
Settle in for some early evening preseason hockey, as puck drop will happen shortly after 5 p.m. Eastern. Chuck Kaiton will have the call on WRALSportsFan.com and through the WRAL Sports Fan mobile app, and, as always, we’ll have live in-game updates on @Canes_Gameday.
is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.Email