Captain Eric Staal is not only the face of the Carolina Hurricanes franchise, he's considered to be one of the headline stars of the NHL. The week before training camp started, the All Star center had to go to New York City to participate in a League media blitz.
But once he returned to Raleigh, it was all business for the team leader. Like the rest of the club, Staal has been working very hard in training camp. The high scoring center will take the ice tonight in Nashville for the first time this preseason, with much anticipation. Staal will be looking to regain his point-per-game, (or higher), scoring pace from portions of previous seasons, as well as trying to maintain that consistent pace throughout the entire year.
Several other "veterans" will be joining him tonight. Paul Branecky from CH.com published the expected forward lines:
Justin Pogge and Justin Peters will
split time in net. Looks like Peters will get this entire game while Pogge takes tomorrow night's game at the RBC.
Those top two lines could very well be the actual lines for the season opening contest in Helsinki, so the coaching staff will be hoping for some instant chemistry from those combinations.
This will be the opening preseason game for the Predators. It appears their lineup will consist of several prospects, but Pekka Rinne will be in net, for at least a portion of the game. For more Preds information, check out "On The Forecheck", the fine SBN Nashville blog.
Opening faceoff is set for 8 p.m. Eastern and at this time, there is no online streaming available. You can listen to Chuck on 99.9 The Fan and starting at 7, we will have an open game thread up and running here for plenty of commentary.