WINNIPEG, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 28: Chris Mason #50 of the Winnipeg Jets blocks a shot on net by Jeff Skinner #53 of the Carolina Hurricanes in preseason NHL action at the MTS Centre on September 28, 2011 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Will Skinner break through tonight? (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images)
The Columbus Blue Jackets, (4-2-1) are in town and will take on the Carolina Hurricanes, (1-3-0) tonight for this year's final preseason contest at the RBC. Including this game, the Canes only have two more exhibition games to prepare for the regular season as the puck is dropped for real exactly one week from tonight.
It looks like the team will be icing an opening night roster for this one. Paul Maurice mentioned in his post practice interview that Riley Nash, Ryan Murphy, Derek Joslin, and Jamie McBain would be sitting out. Of course, this is good news for Tuomo Ruutu fans, meaning that his injury concern from an earlier game this preseason is apparently behind him.
Once again, I'll take a stab at the lines, although this is unconfirmed:
- Ponikarovsky, Staal, Dalpe
- Skinner, Ruutu, Jokinen
- Tlusty, Sutter, LaRose
- Stewart, Brent, Dwyer
- Gleason, Pitkanen
- Kaberle, Harrison
- Faulk, Allen
Cam Ward will be between the pipes.
According to our friends over at The Cannon, the Blue Jackets will be traveling with their full, starting contingent, even though they just played against the Wild last night. Steve Mason went the distance and earned the victory, but apparently he will start again tonight as well.
Here are the projected lines: (The Cannon says that these are unconfirmed)
- Nash, Carter, Kubalik
- Prospal, Vermette, Atkinson
- Brassard, Johansen, Umberger
- Dorsett, Pahlsson, Mayorov
- Savard, Tyutin
- Moore, Martinek
- Johnson, Methot
Again, Mason will start with Curtis Sanford as the backup. If any changes are reported that are different from these projections, we will post them in the comments.
The first line looks dangerous with Rick Nash and former Flyer, Jeff Carter. Ryan Johansen, a player selected before the Canes picked Jeff Skinner in last year's draft, looks like he made the team this go-round. Dan from The Cannon reminds us in his game preview that the Canes went 0-9 while on the powerplay the last time these two teams met.
Speaking of the powerplay, the Canes worked on that a bit during the morning skate. The first unit consisted of Skinner, Staal, Jokinen, Pitkanen, and Kaberle. They will be hoping to develop some chemistry, if nothing else in this game.
Great news for those of you unable to make it to the game. Fox Sports Carolinas announced that they will be streaming the game live from their website. The following note from an email we received yesterday:
ATLANTA – FOX Sports Carolinas announced today that the network will stream the Carolina Hurricanes’ preseason game against the Columbus Blue Jackets live on FOXSportsCarolinas.com Friday, September 30 at 7 p.m. ET. The FOX Sports Carolinas broadcast team of play-by-play announcer John Forslund and analyst Tripp Tracy will call the game from the RBC Center in Raleigh.
Finally, as always you can listen to the game on 99.9 The Fan and/or discuss it with us on the Canes Country Open Thread/Live Blog. Game time is at 7.