It's already shaping up as a pretty big day for the Hurricanes.
Cam Ward's wife, Cody, gave birth to a son, Nolan Kennedy, at 6:33 a.m. That's big news.
"It drops our age a little bit as a team," Canes coach Paul Maurice quipped today.
Then there's Eric Staal. The Canes captain will be playing his 500th career game tonight against the Washington Capitals. That's a milestone.
Finally, the Canes again have a new face in the room. Forward Ryan Carter, acquired Tuesday from the Anaheim Ducks, said he arrived in Raleigh at 5:45 a.m. He was suited up and at the morning skate and will be in the lineup tonight.
Ward, not surprisingly, will not be. Justin Peters will get his first home start in goal, although Ward will be the backup. (Filling in this morning was Jorge Alves, who's always ready to slap on the pads and get in goal, if need be.)
Maurice said Carter would be on the fourth line with former Anaheim teammate Troy Bodie and Jiri Tlusty. Jon Matsumoto will be the scratch, Maurice said.
"Both of them can kill penalties if we need to," Maurice said of Carter and Bodie. "A little bit bigger lineup there. A little more size. We can get a little more forecheck out of our fourth line.
"Jiri is a good, strong defensive player. We'd like to think at some point Jiri can develop some offense. I'm hopeful they can do some things."
Carter said he got three hours of sleep on the flight from California.
"It's been a bit of whirlwind," he said. "But I've got the general idea of what I need to do (tonight)."
Carter, smiling, said he also could rely on Bodie. The two are near lookalikes in size and especially with their 'staches.
"He's got a car and knows his way to the rink," Carter said. "He knows the times for the meetings, stuff like that. That will take a huge load off me."
Maurice said Carter should be fine.
"He doesn't have to stop any pucks," he said.