Teuvo Teravainen was a first-round draft pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012 and a member of the 2015 Stanley Cup champions.
Now, for the first time, he will do his best to beat them.
The Carolina Hurricanes, who traded for Teravainen in June, face the Blackhawks for the first time this season. The game Friday at PNC Arena matches a team that is 9-0-1 in its last 10 games on home-ice against the team that is 23-10-5 overall and leads the Western Conference with 51 points.
The Blackhawks traded Teravainen and forward Bryan Bickell to the Canes for a pair of draft picks. It was a deal Teravainen both understood — the Blackhawks were looking for salary-cap relief — and found a bit unsettling, believing his future would be with the team.
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“Any time you get traded it’s kind of a surprise to you,” Teravainen said Friday. “It took a little time, maybe a week or a couple, and after that I felt really good about it. I get to a new team, a young team, a team that’s going forward. I was pretty excited about it — a chance to get more ice time, a good chance to get better. I liked that.”
Teravainen again will be centering a line with Sebastian Aho and Lee Stempniak. He has four goals and three assists in his past nine games, beating the Boston Bruins last Friday with an overtime score.
The Canes won both games last season against the Blackhawks, including a 5-0 victory on Jan. 26 at PNC Arena. Eddie Lack was the Canes’ goalie in both wins.
— Justin Faulk went on the PNC Arena ice Friday before the morning skate, giving himself a good push and skate.
The defenseman suffered a lower-body injury last Friday against the Bruins and missed Wednesday’s game at Pittsburgh coming out of the Christmas break. Canes coach Bill Peters initially said Faulk’s status was “week to week” but said Friday, “He’s done a great job rehabbing.”
Peters said Faulk would skate again Saturday at PNC Arena while the Canes are on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning in a New Year’s Eve game. The Canes’ next home game is Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils, followed by road games against St. Louis and Chicago.
Peters said because of the “nature of his injury” it’s best that Faulk not fly for now and that returning Tuesday for the Devils game might be too much of a push. But he likes his progress.
— Defenseman Ryan Murphy missed Thursday practice but was at the Canes’ optional morning skate Friday. Peters said Thursday that Murphy required stitches during the Pens game.
Peters said he expected Murphy to play against the Blackhawks and Murphy could again be paired with Ron Hainsey with Faulk out.
Hainsey was among those who stayed off the ice Friday. Jordan Staal, Jeff Skinner and Lee Stempniak also missed the skate, as did goalie Cam Ward, who will start Friday.
“The beauty of the optional in the modern game is you know where you’re at physically,” Peters said. “You know if you’re dinged up, know if you need to go work on your game.”
The Blackhawks, after winning 3-2 Thursday in Nashville, did not have a full team skate. The victory over the Predators ended a short 0-2-1 slide, all three at home, for Chicago.
Patrick Kane had the winning goal for the Blackhawks, the 47th of his career, and with a goal and an assist became the sixth player in Chicago history to reach 700 career points (in 696 games).