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Jamie McBain May Make NHL Debut: Bruins at Hurricanes, Game Day Preview

Carolina Hurricanes prospect Jamie McBain could make NHL debut tonight. (photo by LTD)

The Carolina Hurricanes, (28-32-8) recalled their number one defensive prospect, Jamie McBain, from Albany today.  He might play, and he might not. 

Tim Gleason is less than 100% because of a lower body injury and is questionable for tonight. His playing status will be a game time decision.   Although Paul Maurice said that both defensemen might play and he could go with seven blueliners.  Then again, maybe not. 

It's a big game tonight at the RBC as the Boston Bruins, (30-25-12) visit Raleigh.  The Bruins are currently in eighth place in the conference standings, a spot the Hurricanes covet.  Carolina is eight points back and can ill afford to drop 10 points behind with just 14 games left in their season.

The Hurricanes start their playoffs tonight.

Second line center Brandon Sutter will be back in the lineup after missing one game with a lower body concern.   According to various reports, Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu will be on his wings.

Erik Cole will move up to the first line once again with Eric Staal and Ray Whitney.  This trio seems to have lost whatever mojo they had while together late last season.  Can they regain form tonight?  Cole is certainly due and has not scored a goal yet in 2010. 

When Sutter was out, Cole was matched with the duo against Phoenix and spent part of a couple of previous games with them.

By making this move, Maurice is risking the breakup of a very successful group when Jokinen was on the first line.  Jokinen put together the longest scoring streak of his career, (10 games) during a high scoring run as the Canes built their longest winning streak of the season while that line dominated. 

Look for these lines, unless Maurice scratches a forward:

  • Staal, Whitney, Cole
  • Jokinen, Sutter, Ruutu
  • Dwyer, LaRose, Samsonov
  • Brind'Amour, Boychuk, Kostopoulos

The defense could look like this:  Pitkanen, Carson, Pothier, Harrison, Picard, and (Gleason and/or McBain?), or Maurice could scratch a different d-man.

The Bruins are coming off two loses in a row and might be tired after last night's 3-2 loss in New Jersey.  Then again, they might be angry. 

The teams have split two previous contests earlier this season.

Manny Legace will be back between the pipes for the Canes.  Tim Thomas played last night, so Tuukka Rask will probably get the call for Beantown tonight.

2009 - Manny Legace 20 1082 9 5 49 2.72 535 486 .908 1

2009 - Tuukka Rask 33 1864 15 9 65 2.09 904 839 .928 3

Will McBain play?  Who will sit if Tim Gleason is ready to go?  Can the Canes start up another winning streak?

Come to the rink tonight and all questions will be answered.  The first 15,000 fans will receive a poster of Carolina's Olympic participants, (Gleason, Pitkanen, Ruutu, and Staal).  The team will also be selling 200 "mystery" Shamrock Pucks at the game.  For more information, check this link.

FS Carolinas will have the local telecast starting at 7 p.m.  We will have the open thread cranked up at 6:30.