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Ruutu Returns, Panthers at Hurricanes: Game Day Preview

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(Sorry for the delay in posting this, it's been a crazy one today.)

The Florida Panthers, (24-25-9) are in town tonight to meet the Carolina Hurricanes, (21-30-7) for a match at the RBC.  The Canes have won two games in a row and six of their last eight.  The team just finished a four game road trip and will play their next three contests at home before shutting down for the Olympic break. 

The Panthers have lost three in a row and four of their last five.

Tuomo Ruutu will make a return tonight after missing 15 games because of an upper body injury.  He will start out on the Brandon Sutter line.  (Zach Boychuk was reassigned to Albany a couple of days ago.)

  • Staal, Whitney, Jokinen
  • Cullen, Samsonov, Kostopoulos
  • Sutter, Ruutu, Dwyer
  • Yelle, Brind'Amour, Goertzen

Now that Niclas Wallin is officially a San Jose Shark, Brett Carson's future with the team looks more stable than ever.  The starting six on the blueline will be:  Corvo, Pitkanen, Gleason, Ward, Alberts, and Carson.

Manny Legace will get the start in goal.  Legace is 2-1-3 lifetime against the Panthers.

Jussi Jokinen has a six game scoring streak in play.

Don't forget that the first 5,000 10,000 fans get free Tuomo Ruutu bobbleheads.

FSN will not be broadcasting this game.  I will be reporting from the rink and will have the "Open Game Thread" here starting up at 6:30. 

For more information about the Panthers, check out the Litter Box Cats.