RALEIGH, N.C. -- The season-opening road stretch didnt treat the Carolina Hurricanes well so theyll have to do better upon beginning their ventures at PNC Arena.The New York Rangers have been in a better groove during the first couple of weeks of the season.The teams meet Friday night in Carolinas much-awaited home opener.The Rangers (5-2-0), whove won three games in a row, present a challenging task for the Hurricanes.Theyve got unbelievable speed and theyre going to push the pace, Carolina coach Bill Peters said.The Hurricanes are 1-3-2, failing to hold leads in a couple games and failing to hold down opponents early in other outings.We will fix it, Peters said. Were scoring, but were reckless when were scoring. Right now its not clicking. Its not clicking for 60 minutes.The Rangers needed a comeback to beat Boston, scoring five consecutive goals Wednesday night.One of the teams trademarks is that we come out and were ready to play, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said, expressing concern about a shaky beginning to the game.Peters was determined to make the first two weeks positive for the Hurricanes, realizing that road swing had the potential to be daunting.Its on the verge of become a devastating October unless the two home games in three days help turn things around.I think we need to have a good start, said Carolina center Victor Rask. I think thats real important.The Hurricanes have had a couple of days off since stumbling Tuesday night at Detroit.For the Hurricanes, it will be the official home introduction for eight players on the active roster, including right wingers Lee Stempniak, who has racked up four goals and two assists already this season, and rookie Sebastian Aho. Others wholl make their Carolina home debuts if theyre in the lineup are left wingers Bryan Bickell, Viktor Stalberg and Teuvo Teravainen, right winger Martin Frk, and defensemen Klas Dahlbeck and Jakub Nakladal.Even with the recent success, the Rangers are making roster adjustments. They placed defenseman Dylan McIlrath on waivers Thursday.On our team right now, hes our eighth defenseman, Vigneault said. Thats where we are. Maybe its less about him and more about the other guys. ... He needs to play. Hes a young player.McIlrath, 24, will be sent to Hartford of the American Hockey League if he passes through waivers.Meanwhile, Rangers left winger Josh Jooris will be out for up to a month with a shoulder injury sustained Wednesday night. Right winger Pavel Buchnevich will be in the lineup.Henrik Lundqvist draws the start in goal for the Rangers. Hes 23-10-1 in 34 career appearances against Carolina.Vigneault also pointed out that with it being Carolinas home opener, there could be an additional layer of energy in the building.Added Rangers forward Derek Stepan: The big focus for us is not to be down. You want to play with the lead in this league. ... In order to make these last few games stick, this game is huge. You want to make sure youre playing the right way going into Carolinas building. Michy Batshuayi Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Dries Mertens Belgium Jersey . -- There were so many positives from the Orlando Magics first victory of the season that it was hard for coach Jacque Vaughn to stop praising his players. http://www.belgiumsoccerpro.com/Toby-Alderweireld-Belgium-Jersey/ . -- Former San Diego Chargers safety Paul Oliver was found dead at his Atlanta-area home Tuesday night, and a medical examiner said Wednesday that the ex-player committed suicide. Thibaut Courtois Jersey . JOHNS, N. Nacer Chadli Jersey . Oaklands loss to Seattle clinched the ALs best record for the Red Sox with one day to spare in the regular season. "I think everybody was kind of watching," catcher David Ross said. "Demp (Ryan Dempster) came out before he went to the bullpen and was just yelling that they lost. LONDON -- A bigger World Cup in 2026 will boost North Americas chances of hosting the tournament, the president of the CONCACAF region told The Associated Press.FIFA President Gianni Infantino earlier this week raised the prospect of adding another 16 teams to make it a 48-team tournament, a move that would reduce the pool of countries with sufficient infrastructure.From a 2026 perspective, pick a number (of finalists) and North American can handle it, Victor Montagliani, president of the North and Central America and Caribbean soccer confederation, said Tuesday in an interview. A CONCACAF bid would be strong regardless of what number we finally set on.The World Cup was last staged in the CONCACAF region by the United States in 1994. The Americans are eager to get another shot at hosting in 2026, potentially linking up with neighbors Canada and Mexico.Is there an opportunity to combine the three countries? Perhaps. We dont know that yet, said Montagliani, a FIFA vice president. There have been zero formal discussions. We are not there yet.After the troubled bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, which sparked years of corruption investigations, FIFA will be hoping for a smoother vote for 2026. Originally earmarked for 2017, the decision by the FIFA membership is now not due until 2020.With Africa, South America, Europe and Asia hosting the World Cups between 2010 and 2022, it had been widely accepted that it should be North Americas turn for the first time since 1994.FIFAs statues currently prevent consecutive World Cups being staged on the same continent, but China could yet seek to follow 2022 host Qatar. Chinese conglomerate Wanda signed up as a top-tier FIFA sponsor in March saying it wanted to be better placed to help decide where future editions of the World Cup are awarded.There has to be some sort of rotation or else you look what is happening with the Olympics, Montagliani said, referring to Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympics between the 2018 and 2022 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and Beijing.I dont think its a good thing that it keeps on going to one area. Its not a World Cup that belongs in one region. So I think so sort of rotation needs to occur because the World Cup belongs to the world and we need to respect that.Montagliani applauded Infantino forr thinking outside the box by floating the idea of a 48-team World Cup.ddddddddddddThere are traditionalists in the game who I think, if it was up to them, would still have a 16-team World Cup, Montagliani said in an interview in London. The reality is that the World Cup is not just an economic beast, but a product that inspires hope for countries. So if we can improve it, make it bigger without losing its romanticism, why not?Before FIFA settles on a new format, Montagliani is sure there will be an exhaustive process of review and cost benefit analysis. The format and bidding process will begin to be discussed next week when Infantino chairs a FIFA Council meeting in Zurich.In outlining one potential format earlier this week, Infantino said, you could have a tournament in which the 16 best teams advance to a group stage and the other 16 will came out of a `playoff ahead of the group stage, and the World Cup could end up with 48 teams.The more pressing issues for FIFA center on the 2018 World Cup with the spotlight increasingly on Russia over racism and doping in sport, and the involvement in the war in Syria.Montagliani sees no need to strip Russia of the World Cup.Its a very delicate situation because we are a sport, he said. You try to as much as possible stay out of the geopolitics of the world because its a just a dangerous thing (to mix) and so it is a bit of walking a tightrope.The contentious dual votes on the 2018 and 2022 World Cups sparked years of criminal investigations and FIFA inquiries.FIFA said there was not sufficient evidence to warrant removing their countrys hosting rights. But before being banned and ousted from the FIFA presidency, Sepp Blatter said last year that American authorities would not have indicted more than 40 people in its soccer investigation had it not been for the 2010 vote outcome.To Montagliani it was the tipping point, providing an opportunity to clean the game.In some regards maybe the best thing that happened in football was Russia and Qatar, Montagliani said in a speech Wednesday at the Leaders sports business conference in London.---Rob Harris is at www.twitter.com/RobHarris and www.facebook.com/RobHarrisReports ' ' '