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Hurricanes, Sharks aim to continue hot starts

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes might not turn to Scott Darling for Friday night's game against the San Jose Sharks, but he could be set for season debut any day now.

It's one of the developments for the Hurricanes, who've been idle for most of the week.

"It sounds like it went pretty well for him," Brind'Amour said of Darling's conditioning stint. "I think it's encouraging that he got through it and felt good about his game and put all that behind him for now."

Darling, playing with the American League Hockey affiliate Charlotte Checkers, stopped 25 shots in a 3-1 victory Wednesday night at Utica, N.Y.

Brind'Amour hedged on saying when Darling would be in the lineup, though he has rejoined the team. Darling, 29, has been the projected first-stringer, but he suffered a groin injury in the preseason finale.

The Hurricanes will have decisions to make soon about their roster regarding the goalies. Petr Mrazek has played in five games and Curtis McElhinney has been in the nets for four games.

San Jose and Carolina both have 5-3-1 records (11 points) and, entering play Thursday night around the league, held first-place spots in their respective divisions.

The Sharks have outshot every opponent this season.

"We've put up some shots and our analytics are pretty good," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. "We're feeling good about our game."

The Sharks are coming off Tuesday night's 5-4 victory at Nashville. They're not interested in changing many aspects of what they've been doing.

"It's just a matter of us sticking with our game and doing what we know," Sharks defenseman Brent Burns said.

The Hurricanes are normally interested in playing at a rapid pace, so it's a pair of teams with objectives that might look familiar to one another.

"It's two teams with very similar styles. Whoever gets their game going first will probably have the most success," Brind'Amour said. "It's go hockey, it's get up and down the ice. We've got to obviously control the back end."

Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho has a point in all nine games, matching his career-high for a points streak. Across two games last year against San Jose, he scored three goals -- though the Sharks won both matchups, needing overtime for one of them.

Micheal Ferland is also on a roll for Carolina with a goal in four consecutive games. That gives him a team-high six goals this season.

The Hurricanes made a roster move by calling up center Nicolas Roy from Charlotte. Forward Clark Bishop, who made his NHL debut earlier this month, was sent back to the Checkers after two games with Carolina.

This is the opener of a three-game homestand for the Hurricanes, who haven't played since Monday night's 3-1 victory at Detroit.

The Hurricanes produced two power-play goals in that game after registering just two power-play goals in the first eight games combined.

It was a sign of going in the right direction, but it doesn't mean that the issue has been solved.

"You've got to work on it every day, that's the way it's going to be with this group," Brind'Amour said.

This will mark DeBoer's 750th game as an NHL head coach.

For San Jose, this is the seventh road game of the season. The Sharks go to Anaheim on Sunday to cap the brutal road stretch before four straight home games.

Updated October 25, 2018

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