Carolina Hurricanes

‘Hungry’ Canes head out on the road

The Canes, still seeking their first victory of the season, put in a final practice in Raleigh on Monday before jetting out to Canada for a four-game road trip.

Eric Staal, Nathan Gerbe and Pat Dwyer all continue to be sidelined with injuries, although all three forwards should be on the trip that will take the Canes to Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Canes coach Bill Peters said again Monday that he hoped to get some players back in the lineup during the trip, although saying Staal and Gerbe were "closer" than Dwyer.

The Canes recalled forward Patrick Brown from the Charlotte Checkers (AHL) on Sunday, and defenseman Ryan Murphy filled in at forward in Monday's practice. Peters didn't rule out using Murphy at forward during games, if need be, adding calling up a forward from the Checkers is another option.

Jeff Skinner will make his regular-season debut at Winnipeg. Skinner, who had a team-best 33 goals last season, missed the first four games after a concussion but has been sharp in practices.

"He looks hungry and ready to go," Peters said.

Peters said he's looking forward to the trip, saying, "It's going to be fun. The way I look at it, if we win tomorrow we're one game under .500 and away we go.

"You've got to choose your attitude going on the road. We're going to play four good teams and they're hungry also. Calgary just wrapped up a real good trip, so we're going to have to play well to get points."

The Canes (0-2-2) will first face a Jets team Tuesday that has stumbled to a 1-4-0 start. MTS Centre is a tough place to play although some boos apparently were heard from the home fans Sunday as the Jets were beaten 4-1 by the Flames.

"The MTS Centre is great. You love it when the arena is popping like that," Peters said. "It'll be a really good atmosphere and will energize our guys."

Peters did not name a starting goaltender Monday for the Jets game, saying that decision would be made on the plane on the way to Winnipeg.

The lines in Monday's practice had Riley Nash centering Jiri Tlusty and Alex Semin, Victor Rask centering Skinner and Elias Lindholm, Jay McClement at center with Chris Terry and Zach Boychuk, and Brad Malone on the fourth line with Brown and Murphy.

On the back end, the pairs were Justin Faulk-Andrej Sekera, Ron Hainsey-Brett Bellemore and Jay Harrison-Tim Gleason. John-Michael Liles continued to practice in a yellow, no-contact jersey.

The Canes have a simple goal for the trip, Peters said: "Make sure we're the hardest-working team all four nights."

  Comments