Red Wings-Hurricanes morning skate Tweets: Canes, Wings ‘take optional’ skates

Updated 2x at 12:36 PM: The Detroit Red Wings kick off a stretch of 2 games to be played over the course of 2 nights as they face the streaking Carolina Hurricanes this evening (7:00 PM on FSD/FS Carolinas/97.1 FM).

Carolina has won 3 straight games heading into tonight’s match-up, and the Canes sit 8 points ahead of the Wings in the Wild Card standings.

If you’re interested, the Hurricanes’ website posted a set of game notes ahead of the Canes’ morning skate, and’s Mike Smith penned a game preview:

Coming off a 2-0 shutout win over the Montreal Canadiens, the Carolina Hurricanes will attempt to win their fourth straight game when they host the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.

The two teams just met for the first time this season not even two weeks ago, with the Hurricanes scoring a 3-1 win in their first game back from the five-day bye. Elias Lindholm scored two power-play goals and Cam Ward made 23 saves.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and the Hurricanes have snagged four of four available points in the first two games of their season-long, eight-game homestand. On Thursday, the Hurricanes swept the season series against Montreal for the fist time since the 1994-95 season. Brett Pesce and Brock McGinn provided the offense, while Ward’s 27 saves earned him his first career shutout against Montreal.

“He was unbelievable. He was the best player on the ice, by far,” Pesce said of his netminder. “If it wasn’t for him, it could have been a different story.”

“I’m having fun with it,” Ward said. “Mike Bales has been real good for me. Scott Darling has been great for me. We’re supporting one another and trying to help this team win.”

Since this back-to-back required no travel, the Hurricanes could opt to turn back to Ward in net. The veteran has logged four wins in his last five starts. Scott Darling is also waiting in the wings, eager to prove his keep after winning just one of his four January appearances.

The Hurricanes held an optional morning skate as they’re playing back-to-back games, as noted by the North State Journal’s Cory Lavalette

Very limited participation this morning. Dahlbeck, Fleury and van Riemsdyk, Jooris and PDG.

The Hurricanes’ website said, “Hello”…

As did’s Mike Smith…


Just a handful of guys on the ice this morning: van Riemsdyk, Fleury, Dahlbeck, Di Giuseppe, Jooris. Darling, Alves the goalies.

After the Canes’ skate, per Lavalette

No decision yet on who will be in goal for Carolina tonight. Peters said the staff was meeting at 1130 to discuss the lineup.

I talked to Daring briefly about his new mask. Has an abstract phoenix on the crown area, cool looking warning flags (like the ribbon-style on the sweaters) along the side. Said he has another coming in a few weeks.

The Red Wings checked in just before the team took to the ice…

And some of the Wings took to the ice at the PNC Center just after 11:30 AM…

As also noted by’s Dana Wakiji:

Update: The Hurricanes’ website posted a clip of coach Bill Peters speaking with the media (MP3).

Here’s more from Michael Smith as well:

head coach Bill Peters didn’t say definitively who was starting in net. Darling took shots this morning, Ward did not. We’ll see who leads the team out for warm-ups.

The Hurricanes also posted a “Keys to Victory” video:

Update #2: Here’s’s Mike Smith’s game-day update:

Just a handful of players were on the ice at PNC Arena this morning for the Hurricanes’ optional skate: Trevor van Riemsdyk, Haydn Fleury, Klas Dahlbeck, Josh Jooris and Phil Di Giuseppe. The Canes are likely to ice the same lineup, meaning the latter three players will again be healthy extras. Scott Darling took shots in net, and Jorge Alves also saw some time in the crease.

Head coach Bill Peters didn’t tip his hand as to who the starting goaltender would be.

“We’re going to make that decision final here in a little bit,” he said, coyly.

The Hurricanes put forth a rather complete 60-minute effort on Thursday night in a 2-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens. They’ll be searching for more of the same tonight, perhaps with a few tweaks that the head coach would like to see.

“We can be better in the second period. We were just talking about it. In the first we didn’t give up much, and I thought we clamped down in the third similar to [the game against] Ottawa,” Peters said. “In the second we turned some pucks over at the O-zone blue line. Similar type of effort needed, but a little bit better execution with the puck.”

Thursday’s win moved the Hurricanes closer to wild card position in the Eastern Conference, though the team remains just on the outside of the cut line due to tiebreaking scenarios. A win tonight would be four in a row and three-for-three to begin this season-long, eight-game homestand.

“It’s always tight. That’s what I see,” Peters said of the standings. “It’s very tight, and it’s going to remain tight. I know the games that are big. Every game is a big game, you know that, but divisional games and the games we haven’t played against Philly and New Jersey, those eight games are huge. We’ll just keep plugging away.”

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.