The Carolina Hurricanes took somewhat of a hodgepodge lineup to Tampa on Tuesday and left with a 3-0 shutout victory in their preseason opener.
Now, the veteran - in terms of experience, at least, because in age, they're still fairly young - squad is up in the back half of the Canes' home-and-home, back-to-back set against the Lightning.
"For a coach coming in not sure what you're going to get out of that kind of group that we threw together - it was guys from all different levels - it was real good," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said of his team's first exhibition match. "It was one of the better preseason games for me. From start to finish, there was a real engagement. You could see guys trying to do stuff we've been preaching for four days. I expected way more mistakes, to be honest, but we made up for them. The guys just worked really hard."
PRESEASON RECAP: CANES BLANK LIGHTNING
The main takeaway from the Hurricanes' preseason opener was that work ethic that limited the Lightning to just 15 shots on goal, none of which got past the duo of James Reimer and Anton Forsberg.
Brind'Amour and his staff want to see a similar work ethic tonight.
Video: Brind'Amour: "The guys just worked really hard"
"If you can dig in, even if you don't know what you're going, you're going to be OK," he said. "You don't take a lot out of the win; you take a lot out of the process of it."
The Hurricanes' lineup for tonight features a glut of NHL players. Forwards Ryan Dzingel and Erik Haula and defensemen Jake Gardiner, Fredrik Claesson and Gustav Forsling will all make their debuts with the club.
Video: Forsling: "It's going to be fun to finally compete"
Forward Julien Gauthier is the only player who will dress for consecutive games. He logged three shots on goal in 15:40 of ice time alongside Eetu Luostarinen and Janne Kuokkanen on Tuesday. Gauthier will skate on a line with Steven Lorentz and Clark Bishop tonight.
"You can't earn a spot in practice, so we need to make sure they're getting as many looks as they can," Brind'Amour said.
Petr Mrazek and Alex Nedeljkovic are expected to split goaltending duties tonight, just as Reimer and Forsberg did in Tampa.
Watch: Hurricanes.com (geo-restricted to local broadcast territory)
Video: Hurricanes vs Lightning Live Stream: Preseason Game 2