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Prospects Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Blackhawks

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
TRAVERSE CITY – The Carolina Hurricanes will wrap up their three-game round-robin slate in the NHL Prospects Tournament with a match-up against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday evening.

The Canes are riding the momentum of a 5-4 overtime victory over the Dallas Stars, in which the team erased a two-goal deficit to snag their first win of the tournament. Sergey Tolchinsky recorded two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist, and Brett Pesce also netted two goals, the pair that erased said deficit.

Head coach Mark Morris wants to see the same will and tenacity tonight.

“We just need to continue to execute our systems with a little more detail and play with the same energy and compete level,” he said. “Our team played a real patient game (vs. Dallas). We hung in there even when we were down by a couple. It was huge for us as a group to hang in there and battle it out.”

The Canes match up with a winless Chicago squad that saw a 2-1 lead disappear in the last minute of the third period against Dallas in a 4-2 loss and then fell a goal shy against Detroit in a 3-2 loss. That is to say, the Hurricanes will be facing a desperate Blackhawks group.

“No doubt. They’re a great organization. It’s proven over time that they know what they’re doing,” Morris said. “We’ll just focus on our game and prepare like we’re going to see their A-game.”

Rasmus Tirronen will man the crease for the Hurricanes. He made a glowing 27 saves in the team’s 1-0 loss to Detroit on Friday. Josh Wesley will draw back in on defense in place of Tyler Ganly. Up front, Phil Di Giuseppe climbs up to the first line alongside Lucas Wallmark and Tolchinsky, while Brock McGinn mans the left side on the second line with Clark Bishop and Erik Karlsson to his right.

Because this is such a short tournament, the Hurricanes already have an idea of seeding for tomorrow’s cross-division finale. With two regulation wins and six points, the Detroit Red Wings sit in first place in the Gordie Howe Division; the winner of their game against Dallas tonight will represent the division in the championship on Tuesday.

The Hurricanes currently slot in third place with two points, two points behind second-place Dallas and two points ahead of last-place Chicago. The highest the Canes can finish is second place, and a win tonight could very well put the team in Tuesday’s third-place game, to compete against the second-place finisher from the Ted Lindsay Division.

We’ll be at David’s Rink at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City to bring you live game updates on @Canes_Gameday around 6:30 p.m.

Di Giuseppe-Wallmark-Tolchinsky
McGinn-Bishop-Karlsson
Sandlak-Roy-Smallman
Lorentz-Petti-Marchese

Carrick-Pesce
Fleury-McKeown
Slavin-Wesley

Tirronen
Booth

Healthy extras: Willows, Ganly


Michael Smith
MICHAEL SMITH is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.

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