The Carolina Hurricanes are getting closer to turning preseason games into full-scale rehearsals for the regular season.
For Friday’s exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Canes will have the line of Victor Rask centering Jeff Skinner and Lee Stempniak. Jordan Staal is playing, as is Andrej Nestrasil. Elias Lindholm will center Finnish fowards Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho, new in camp this week.
Justin Faulk and Ron Hainsey will make up one defensive pairing, and Brett Pesce and Haydn Fleury in another. Eddie Lack will be the starting goalie.
“It will be interesting to see now, with obviously a few more guys that we predict to be in the lineup,” assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We’ll see how it all gels. That’s sort of the step we’re looking for, to see who plays well with who.”
The head coach may also be on hand. Bill Peters has missed training camp while serving as an assistant coach for Team Canada in the World Cup, but was due back in Raleigh sometime Friday afternoon.
Peters won’t be behind the bench, but will watch the game from the press level at PNC Arena.
Teravainen and Aho, after competing for Finland in the World Cup, will be making their first PNC Arena appearance in a game and playing their first preseason game.
“I’m getting used to everything after some practices,” Teravainen said Friday. “I feel good and it’s nice to get going and play that first game. It’s been a good pace in practice and I’ll really looking forward to playing.
Staal will at center with Brock McGinn and Phil Di Giuseppe, and Lucas Wallmark will be at center with Raffi Torres and Nestrasil, who is playing his first game since suffering a broken vertebra in late February.
Trevor Carrick and Matt Tennyson will make up the third D pair, and Michael Leighton is the second goalie.