The Carolina Hurricanes' second training-camp practice under new coach Bill Peters was much like the first -- with one change.
Peters liked the scrimmage Saturday.
Peters came away from Friday's first group scrimmage believing it was too sloppy, the execution too poor. He liked more of what he saw Saturday at PNC Arena as Phil Di Giuseppe, Jay McClement and Eric Staal each scored for the red "A" group, and Alexander Semin scored for the white "B" group.
The "A group will make up the Canes' roster for their first preseason exhibition game Sunday against Columbus, although Staal will be held out, Peters said. Nothing serious, the coach noted, and Staal has not missed any practice time, but the Canes captain did have surgery this summer for a core-muscle injury.
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Riley Nash from the “B” group will center the top line with Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm on the wings, Peters said.
"Day Two was good," Peters said. "I thought the scrimmage was better and I liked that a lot of the things that needed to be improved upon in the scrimmage were improved upon. So a lot of good signs."
Peters said there were more puck-possession plays Saturday, more guys looking to make plays and more communication on the ice.
"It wasn't quite as loose, it wasn't quite as informal," he said. "Some of the young guys continued to look good and some of the older guys, you could tell they took a step today."
The Canes again spent a few sessions working on the power play and Peters said, "There's enough talent -- on the power play we're fine." The penalty-kill work is more detailed and more structured and will take more time, he said.
It's a rarity to have a preseason game after two days of practice, but the Canes play Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at PNC Arena. Defenseman Haydn Fleury, the Canes' first-round pick this year, is scheduled to play.
"Would you like to practice? Yeah, you would, but the reality is (the players) would probably like to play," Peters said. "Hockey players like to play games and they're going to get the opportunity. I like the fact our first two games, we just split our roster right down the middle and everybody's going to get an opportunity. We're going to roll four lines."
The game group Sunday should have McClement centering Brad Malone and Pat Dwyer; Ben Holmstrom at center with Di Giuseppe and Chris Terry; and Patrick Brown with Carter Sandlak and Jared Staal. The defensive pairs should be Andrej Sekera-Ryan Murphy, Jay Harrison-Brett Bellemore and Fleury-Danny Biega. Anton Khudobin will start in goal.
At one point in Saturday’s practice, Peters liked the way the Canes ran a drill. “Good job, a tip of the hat,” he said.
Peters then, in fact, tipped his cap. Up came the lid.
Peters laughed later, saying, “I thought they did a helluva job and I wanted to make sure they knew that I knew.”