Hurricanes at Blue Jackets: Game Preview 9-26-2013

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

After a slow start to the pre-season the Canes look to get things going with the roster trimmed and the regular season a little over a week away.

Carolina Hurricanes at Columbus Blue Jackets
Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 7:00 pm EDT
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH
Radio - 99.9 The Fan

SB Nation Rival Blog: The Cannon

Hurricanes Preseason Record: 1-3-0
Blue Jackets Preseason Record: 4-1-1

The Hurricanes started out slow in the preseason, losing their first three games before finally getting in to the win column Saturday night with a 3-1 victory over the Canadiens. Since then the Canes have trimmed the roster to something more close to what we will see in the regular season. Tonight's game against the Blue Jackets should be more indicative of the team in the regular season than anything we've seen to date.

Tonight's game also provides a measuring stick of sorts. The Canes kicked off their preseason slate with a game last Wednesday night against these same Blue Jackets. That game saw the Canes take the lead in the second period only to give up goals late and ultimately lose. This game should shed some light on what areas the Canes have been able to work on over the last week.

The roster for tonight's game looks like this:

Tlusty - E. Staal - C. Terry

Gebre - J. Staal - Dwyer

Skinner - Nash - Dvorak (Semin is used as a placeholder online as Dvorak isn't under contract)

Bowman - Brett Sutter - Westgarth

Sekera - Faulk

Murphy - Hainsey

Harrison - Bellemore

Ward and Khudobin for the goaltenders

Lindholm is once again not in the lineup due to an injury. With only one game left before the start of the regular season it is time to start wondering what the lack of playing time in the pre-season means for the chances of Lindholm sticking with the big league squad this year. The talent and the desire may be there but are the Canes willing for burn a year of his entry level contract based on a limited sample size?

Of particular interest in tonight's game will be the amount of ice time goaltender Cam Ward sees and how he looks on the ice. Kirk Muller noted early on in the pre-season that Ward would see action in 4 games. If he plays tonight that will mark Ward's fourth appearance in the pre-season. Will this be all the ice-time Ward sees prior to the start of the regular season next Friday? Further will Ward look closer to his mid-season form tonight?

Puck drops at 7 PM tonight and the game thread will be open at 6:30. Go Canes!

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