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Panthers @ Hurricanes: Preseason Premiere Preview

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Carolina Hurricanes training camp. Skating in circles, everyone's favorite camp activity. (photo by LTD)

Tonight's preseason game between the Florida Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC will feature rookies and prospects galore.  For instance, the four centers listed to start for the Canes have yet to play a single NHL game. Regardless, each of those players are in the mix of a tight competition to make the team.  The coaching staff will be watching very closely tonight.

Think the preseason games are not important?  Think again.  When asked which players stood out the most so far this training camp, Jim Rutherford said that he would have to wait until after the games to answer that question. 

"I'm not going to mention names because we don't start ranking them until the games start up.  We look to see how these players do in a game.  After the third game or so, we'll know the players most likely to make the team". 

While the veterans who have already earned spots might go through the motions as they try to save themselves for the regular season, not so much for the prospects, who are fighting for an NHL career.

Here is the Canes' expected lineup:

Skinner-LaRose-Dwyer

Nash-Bowman-Ruutu

Dalpe-O`Sullivan-Kostopoulos

Matsumoto-Boychuk-Samson

Gleason-Sanguinetti

McBain-Babchuk

Borer-Harrison

Cam Ward and Justin Pogge will split time in net.

Florida will also have a prospect laden lineup featuring their prize pick who was selected third overall, Erik Gudbranson.  To see their entire lineup, check out this link at  On Frozen Pond.

HM updated her training camp guideline with the lineup for tonight's game.  You can click on it and print it from the link below.

Canes Country Guide Sept 20 2010

We will have a live open thread running throughout the game tonight and Cory and I will be chiming in during the course of the game as we report from the arena.  Have a question about what is happening?  Hit us up during the game tonight.  We'll have that thread starting at 6:30.

There will be no television, but you can listen to Chuck Kaiton on 99.9 The Fan.  The puck drops at 7 p.m.