Thu, 15 Nov 2018
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Raleigh

Hurricanes refocus against Avalanche

Sports Xchange
20 Oct 2018, 10:38 GMT+10

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes put together a start to the season that matched the best in franchise history.

Now after a couple of blips, it's time to regroup.

The Hurricanes return to home ice for Saturday afternoon's game against the Colorado Avalanche at PNC Arena.

Carolina lost in regulation for the first time this season in its past two games after a 4-0-1 start.

"We've been working on some things," coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "We spent time on special teams, obviously."

Carolina gave up a hat trick to Tampa Bay's Tyler Johnson on Tuesday.

Colorado is coming off Thursday night's 5-3 victory at New Jersey, where captain Gabriel Landeskog logged a hat trick.

"That's why he's the captain, that's why he's our leader," defenseman Ian Cole said. "A lot of guys stepped up, but him especially."

Three points in the first two games of a four-game East Coast trip have given the Avalanche a good vibe.

"To get off to a start like that, guys are having fun," Landeskog said. "It's important to get a win when you stay patient and work for everything you get."

The Hurricanes have relied on an aggressive style and fast starts in games this season. The Avalanche might be playing the style that can match that.

"I think (Landeskog) had our team focused and ready to go," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said of the game against New Jersey. "I thought we were the aggressors to start the game."

Brind'Amour said the Hurricanes need to straighten out the power play, but he's generally content with what he has seen five-on-five.

"We're giving up chances, but that's going to happen," he said.

Still, the Hurricanes have made a roster move, bringing forward Clark Bishop up from Charlotte of the American Hockey League. Rookie center Martin Necas, after scoring his first NHL goal earlier in the week, and defenseman Haydn Fleury were sent to the AHL club.

Bishop will get a chance to show how he has progressed, working on the fourth line.

"We want to see (do) what he has done all training camp and those games down in Charlotte," Brind'Amour said. "He's energy. We're expecting good, hard, honest effort."

Necas doesn't figure to be down in the minors for long, Brind'Amour said. But this provides a chance for him to refine some areas.

"He's an NHL-caliber talent," Brind'Amour said. "He's playing a tough position at center. We need to get him a little more ready away from the puck. I want him to have confidence when he comes back to us."

It appears that the return of goalie Scott Darling might be a bit away as he comes back from a preseason groin injury. He has returned to practice, but he's not likely to be on the ice Saturday.

"You don't want to push it too soon," Brind'Amour said.

Right winger Sebastian Aho has at least one point in each of Carolina's first seven games.

The Carolina home game is a rarity for this weekend, with the North Carolina State Fair going on at the grounds adjacent to the arena.

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