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Eddie Lack to start for Hurricanes

Goalie will make season debut against former team in Vancouver

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

HURRICANES (0-0-1) at CANUCKS (1-0-0)

10 p.m. ET; SN1, FS-CR, NHL.TV

VANCOUVER -- Goaltender Eddie Lack will make his first start of the season for the Carolina Hurricanes against his former team the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday at Rogers Arena.

Lack spent five seasons with the Canucks before being traded to the Hurricanes at the 2015 NHL Draft for two picks, clearing the way for Jacob Markstrom, who will start for Vancouver, to take over as the backup to Ryan Miller. Lack was a fan favorite and played at Rogers Arena once last season, making 18 saves in a 3-2 loss to the Canucks on Jan. 6, but said he feels a lot more comfortable coming back now.

"I was actually thinking about that yesterday as I was going to bed, the troubles I had falling asleep last year because I was so excited," Lack said, "And last night it took like 25 seconds to fall asleep. So it's a little bit different. I feel a lot more prepared for the season in general. It feels like everything is just falling into place for me and I'm excited to get my season going."

Lack watched Cam Ward start Carolina's first game, a 5-4 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday in which the Hurricanes blew a 4-1 third-period lead. Coach Bill Peters isn't making any other lineup changes but said it was important to get both goalies into a game early during their six-game road trip to start the season, and playing Lack in Vancouver was an easy choice.

"I think he's got extra motivation, I think he's had a really good camp and his preseason was outstanding and we want to get everyone going," Peters said.

The Canucks are taking a similar approach after defeating the Calgary Flames 2-1 in a shootout in their season opener Saturday at home.

Miller stopped all 25 shots he faced and all four in the shootout - he was on the bench on a delayed penalty when Canucks forward Loui Eriksson shot into his own empty net for Calgary's only goal - but coach Willie Desjardins said it wasn't a good enough reason to deviate from the plan to split starts in back-to-back games.

"There's no reason to put Miller in a spot where he is playing tired or to risk injury," Desjardins said. "That's one of our luxuries so it's a perfect chance to get Markstrom in."

Markstrom, who had a.915 save percentage in a career-high 33 games last season, joined the Canucks late in the preseason after playing for Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

"It's just nice to play games again, nice to get the season going," Markstrom said. "You saw the emptions yesterday during the game. It's different when the season starts, everything means so much more and you see the emotion in the crowd and on the bench."

Hurricanes projected lineup

Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Lee Stempniak

Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Andrej Nestrasil

Sebastian Aho - Elias Lindholm - Teuvo Teravainen

Bryan Bickell - Jay McClement - Viktor Stalberg

Jaccob Slavin - Justin Faulk

Ron Hainsey - Brett Pesce

Noah Hanifin - Klas Dahlbeck

Eddie Lack

Cam Ward

Scratched: Phillip Di Giuseppe, Martin Frk, Jakub Nakladal

Injured: Ryan Murphy (lower body)

Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Loui Eriksson

Sven Baertschi - Markus Granlund - Jake Virtanen

Brendan Gaunce - Brandon Sutter - Jannik Hansen

Alexandre Burrows - Bo Horvat - Derek Dorsett

Alexander Edler - Christopher Tanev

Ben Hutton - Erik Gudbranson

Luca Sbisa - Philip Larsen

Jacob Markstrom

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Jack Skille, Nikita Tryamkin, Alex Biega

Injured: Anton Rodin (knee), Tom Nilsson (undisclosed)


Status report

Peters said defenseman Jakub Nakladal, who signed as a free agent last Sunday and joined the Hurricanes in Vancouver for practice Saturday, won't make his debut before games against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday and Flames on Thursday. Defenseman Roland McKeown was sent down to Charlotte of the American Hockey League in order to make room for Nakladal on the roster.

Who's hot

Skinner had a goal and an assist in the loss to the Jets after leading the Hurricanes in preseason scoring with two goals and an assist. … Horvat scored four goals in two games for the Canucks against Carolina last season.

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