The Carolina Hurricanes are looking to pick up their first win of the young season as they travel to The Prudential Center in Newark to take on the New Jersey Devils in a Columbus Day matinee (set your DVR’s accordingly). The Canes (0-1-1) are coming off of a hard-fought overtime loss against the Washington Capitals on Saturday that saw captain Eric Staal notch two power play goals, plus adding an assist, after a tough game on opening night. The Devils (0-1-0) are coming off of a 3-0 opening night loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. New Jersey didn’t make too many moves in the offseason, although they have a new head coach at the helm in former Florida Panthers head coach (and Paul Maurice friend) Pete DeBoer. Petyr Sykora returned to the Devils after playing last season in the KHL and was paired with Zach Parise and Patrick Elias on Saturday against the Flyers. Sykora was picked 18th overall by the Devils in the 1995 NHL entry draft and played 7 previous seasons with the team. The Devils named Zach Parise their team captain last week, with Patrick Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk named as the alternates. The Devils will be missing Travis Zajac today, due to an injury to the Achilles tendon over the summer. To read up more on the Devils, head on over to Pucks and Pitchforks.
For the Hurricanes, expect no line-up changes, with the exception of Cam Ward being the starting goaltender this afternoon (per @JohnForslund). This means that defensemen Ryan Murphy, Jamie McBain and Derek Joslin sit for the third consecutive game. Special teams did look a little better for the Hurricanes on Saturday’s game, with the power play going 2-for-4. They did have 1:29 of 4-on-3 time in the overtime session and failed to convert, however. The first unit of Jeff Skinner, Eric Staal, Jussi Jokinen, Joni Pitkanen and Tomas Kaberle seemed to move the puck better and had better scoring chances than against the Lightning on Friday night. I would think that this unit will stay put, especially if they see some success against New Jersey. It will be also interesting to see how the lines shape-up for head coach Paul Maurice, as he moved some players around in the final period against Washington, moving Chad LaRose to the top line with Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner. Will he stay with the lines he used in the third period or go back and use the ones that he started the game with? Make sure to check back for our game recap later on this evening!