The Carolina Hurricanes will look to build on their first exhibition win from a night prior when they take on the Ottawa Senators in their second of two neutral-site affairs in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
The Canes posted a 5-3 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Jeff Skinner scored two goals, including the game-winner, and added a third in the 3-on-3 overtime demonstration. He now has three goals (four if you count the overtime tally) in his last two games, and he’s expected to be in the lineup again today.
“Jeff Skinner was very good. I thought he got better as the game went along,” head coach Bill Peters said on Saturday. “He needs to have a good preseason and carry it into the regular season. I know he was disappointed the way the season ended last year, and he’s come back in great shape and committed. He’s scored the majority of his goals so far right in around the blue paint, where he scored in his rookie year. I like that he’s going to the net and staying at the net.”
Much of the lineup from Saturday will see some turnover today since the Hurricanes want to get a look at each of the 33 players remaining on the team’s training camp roster.
“We’re going to make some changes and put all the guys in that didn’t play today, and there are about six or seven guys who have to stay in the lineup, which is good,” Peters said on Saturday. “They need it. They need to get some reps, and they want to play. They want to make sure they’re ready for the opener in Nashville.”
Nathan Gerbe, Jordan Staal and Andrej Nestrasil are expected to comprise the Canes’ top line, while Kris Versteeg, Riley Nash and Jeff Skinner get a second straight crack at it after a positive showing in Halifax.
On the back end, the Canes will look rather young, with John-Michael Liles and James Wisniewski providing a veteran presence on the top pairing, and Jaccob Slavin, Ryan Murphy, Trevor Carrick and Brett Pesce filling out the group of six.
Cam Ward is expected to go the distance this afternoon, with Eddie Lack providing back-up support.
Sunday afternoon preseason hockey is on tap, as puck drop will happen shortly after 3:30 p.m. Eastern. Chuck Kaiton will have the call on WRALSportsFan.com and through the WRAL Sports Fan mobile app, and, as always, you can find us on @Canes_Gameday with live in-game updates.
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