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They said it: Brind’Amour, Slavin, Pesce on tonight’s matchup with Dallas

The Carolina Hurricanes will be finishing off their six-game road trip with a two-game series in Dallas Monday and Tuesday with a chance to clinch a spot in the playoffs.

Nashville Predators v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes will be entering their contest with the Dallas Stars tonight with a chance to clinch a playoff berth for the third consecutive season.

The Canes are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers, but have so far taken six of eight total points from their road trip.

Head coach Rod Brind’Amour and defensemen Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce spoke to the media after Monday’s practice via Zoom. Here’s what they had to say:

Rod Brind’Amour

On any updates on the players that are out: There’s no changes. That’s it. None of those guys will be playing that didn’t play the other night.

On an update on Brock McGinn and if his presence is missed: Could use all these guys in our lineup for sure. He’s getting better, I know that. I don’t know the timeline or anything. I just know that the process is going exactly as it’s supposed to. That’s a positive.

On his starter for tonight: Reims is playing.

Jaccob Slavin

On what it’s like playing nearly half of an NHL game: It was good. There was also that double OT against Washington where it was over half a game. It’s fun. You’re out there and in the game. Out on the ice almost every other shift. You just get more involved. I mean I enjoy it. I had fun.

On what is missed the most with a good number of guys being out: I think it just depends on the personnel that’s on. With Teravainen being out for a long time, that hurts the power play. He’s a great power play guy. But guys have stepped up. We’ve played well on the power play, but he just makes it that much better. With Skjei being gone, he’s a huge part of our penalty kill. Obviously we’ve got to step up and fill that role. It definitely hurts everywhere when we have guys out, but we’ve got such a good group here and good depth that guys fill those roles and step up to the plate.

On keeping energy levels up with the tight schedule: This whole season has been one of those ones where you have to take care of yourself and your body. Make sure you’re doing the things to help you prepare for games. Rest days or practice days or whatever day, just making sure you’re taking care of your body. It’s just one of those seasons where you do play a lot of games in a short amount of time. Guys are just making sure to take good care of their bodies. But those rest days are important to just reenergize on and off the ice. On the mental side of it too, just regrouping and refocusing on the next task at hand.

On the final stretch of the regular season being against teams vying for the final playoff spot: It’s going to be tough. We’re getting to the point of the season where games start to feel like playoff games. We’ve been in that spot before so we know the mindset on the other side. But being in the position we’re in and Roddy has made it clear that you have to have a certain mindset. We still have to go out there and that these games are just as important for us as they are for them. So we’re ready for the task, but the mental side of it is huge. We know what we have to do. Go out there and get the two points and make sure we’re ready for playoffs as soon as they ramp up.

Brett Pesce

On what it’s like playing two teams that play such different styles: It’s a little bit different. I do think Florida has a lot of grit in there game as well. Maybe more than some people think, but everyone knows what Dallas is all about. Big, heavy, like to get it behind you and outwork you. You have to get mentally prepared for tonight for sure.

On if there’s anything new he’s incorporated into his recovery or wellness routine with the tight schedule: Nah. Just kind of sleep as much as you can. I started napping a little more on game days just to get some more rest but other than that nothing crazy.

On if it’s tougher physically or mentally down the stretch: Probably a little more mentally fatiguing I’d say. At the same time, everyone is playing the same schedule though. Everyone is going through it so there’s really no excuse.

On the importance on the rest day: It was nice. It’s always nice to get a mental and physical break. Doing something outside and getting your mind off hockey for a day. So that was definitely a little refreshing.

On if there’s any thoughts of playing safer as playoffs get closer: No. I don’t think that really crosses anyone’s mind. At the end of the day, everyone’s so competitive. Kind of have to be to be in this league. Whether you’re 20 points back or 20 points ahead for the playoffs, it doesn’t matter. You play the same way.