HURRICANES (4-4-2) at AVALANCHE (6-5-0)
9 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-CR, NHL.TV
Goaltender Cam Ward will start for the Carolina Hurricanes, who open a two-game road trip against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Thursday, attempting to end a two-game losing streak (0-1-1). The Hurricanes are 1-3-1 in their past five games but are 3-2-0 on the road this season.
Goaltender Semyon Varlamov will start for the Avalanche, 2-1-0 in their past three games and 4-1-0 at home. They leave Friday on a 10-day road trip with games against the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders and two games with the Ottawa Senators in Stockholm for the SAP NHL Global Series.
Players to watch
Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner has a point in three consecutive games (two goals, one assist) and seven points (five goals, two assists) in his past six games. He leads the Hurricanes in scoring with nine points (seven goals, two assists) in 10 games.
Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen leads Colorado in scoring with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 11 games. He had three points (two goals, one assist) in a 6-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
They said it
"I think I've played better and better every day, and I think the goals are coming. I just need to stay positive, just relax my game. Obviously, work hard, but still when I get the chances, just relax. I try to help this team win in other ways too." -- Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho, who has no goals this season after scoring 24 last season
"Consistency is the biggest thing right now. We're not the type of team that can have one or two guys take the night off and still win. We need everyone pulling in the same direction every night. -- Avalanche forward Matt Duchene
Hurricanes projected lineup
Sebastian Aho -- Jordan Staal -- Elias Lindholm
Teuvo Teravainen -- Victor Rask -- Justin Williams
Jeff Skinner -- Derek Ryan -- Josh Jooris
Joakim Nordstrom -- Marcus Kruger -- Brock McGinn
Jaccob Slavin -- Trevor van Riemsdyk
Haydn Fleury -- Justin Faulk
Noah Hanifin -- Klas Dahlbeck
Scratched: Patrick Brown, Roland McKeown
Injured: Brett Pesce (concussion), Lee Stempniak (back)
Avalanche projected lineup
Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen
Sven Andrighetto -- Matt Duchene -- Rocco Grimaldi
Matt Nieto -- Carl Soderberg -- Blake Comeau
A.J. Greer -- Alexander Kerfoot -- Nail Yakupov
Anton Lindholm -- Erik Johnson
Patrik Nemeth -- Tyson Barrie
Andrei Mironov -- Mark Barberio
Scratched: Chris Bigras, Nikita Zadorov
Injured: Gabriel Bourque (upper body), J.T. Compher (broken thumb), Tyson Jost (lower body), Colin Wilson (hip)
Van Riemsdyk will take Pesce's place on the top pair with Slavin. Pesce did not make the trip ... Brown and McKeown were recalled from Charlotte of the American Hockey League.
The Avalanche are 11-0-3 in their past 14 home games against the Hurricanes, 10-0-1 at Pepsi Center.