MAPLE LEAFS (6-9-4) at HURRICANES (6-10-2)
TV: SNO, FS-CR
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin will make his NHL debut Friday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Slavin, 21, was recalled from Charlotte of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. A first-year pro, he has seven assists in 14 AHL games.
"I'm just overwhelmed a bit," Slavin said. "It's amazing; a dream come true. I'm excited to get out there and show what I've got and help the team get a win tonight. It's definitely in the back of your mind that it's your first NHL game. But it only happens once so you have to go out and enjoy it.
Slavin's opportunity comes while defenseman Ryan Murphy is recovering from a concussion.
"He skates well and he was good in the exhibition season for us," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said of Slavin. "The way we've played recently, we've come off it a little bit in my opinion. So we want to put him in and see what he can do at this level."
It will be the first time Peters and Toronto coach Mike Babcock are on opposing benches. Prior to taking the Carolina job, Peters spent three seasons as an assistant coach on Babcock's staff with the Detroit Red Wings.
They share similar outlooks on what it will take for their team to win Friday.
"Work ethic and execution," Babcock said. "The game is going to be tight. Lots of times in the schedule the other team's [position in the] standings scares you, so you get prepared. When you're playing Carolina or Toronto, you have to prepare yourself because the standings don't reflect them in that kind of light."
Peters believes the game shapes up in the same fashion.
"Battle level and execution," he said. "It's going to be tight. It will come down to 1-on-1 battles and being able to be dynamic in the offensive zone. And when you get a Grade-A, you better finalize it."
The Maple Leafs have points in six of their past seven games (4-1-2), an indication that there is progress being made. That confidence was evident when the Leafs scored four power-play goals in a 5-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.
"Our group as a whole, you can see that we've bought in," Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf said. "It's showing in the way we play our game. We play a disciplined game. When we play our structure it gives us a chance. Mike is very detail-oriented and you can see it every day."
Carolina is 1-4-2 in November largely because of a sputtering offense; they have five goals in the past four games and 16 goals in seven games this month.
Here are the projected lineups:
James van Riemsdyk - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov
Shawn Matthias - Tyler Bozak - PA Parenteau
Daniel Winnik - Byron Froese - Joffrey Lupul
Michael Grabner - Peter Holland - Brad Boyes
Jake Gardiner - Dion Phaneuf
Matt Hunwick - Morgan Rielly
Martin Marincin - Roman Polak
Injured: Stephane Robidas (groin), Nick Spaling (upper body)
Scratched: Frank Corrado, Scott Harrington
Chris Terry - Eric Staal - Kris Versteeg
Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Riley Nash
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Nathan Gerbe - Jay McClement - Brad Malone
Jaccob Slavin - Justin Faulk
Ron Hainsey - Brett Pesce
Noah Hanifin - John-Michael Liles
Injured: James Wisniewski (knee), Ryan Murphy (concussion)
Scratched: Andrej Nestrasil, Michal Jordan
Status report: Babcock indicated that Spaling is not ready to return to the lineup. He sat out Tuesday against the Avalanche. ... Free-agent defenseman Tim Gleason, 32, who has played parts of the past nine seasons with the Hurricanes, is skating with them on a professional tryout.
Who's hot: Parenteau has three goals in the past three games. ... Bozak has two goals and five assists during a five-game point streak. … Reimer has won four straight games. ... Faulk has two goals and three assists in the past five games.