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Hurricanes At Capitals: Game Day Preview

The Carolina Hurricanes, (0-1-0) are visiting the nation's capital to do battle with the Washington Capitals, (0-0-0) tonight at the Verizon Center.   The Canes are coming off a disappointing 5-1 home loss to Tampa Bay while the Caps will be opening their season.

I could not find any reports out of Washington regarding the Carolina morning skate, or even if there was one.  The lines at this point are up in the air.  Will coach Maurice stick with the same ones from last night, or blow things up and start anew?  The lines from last night were:

  • Skinner, Staal, Ruutu
  • LaRose, Jokinen, Tlusty
  • Ponikarovsky, Sutter, Dwyer
  • Dalpe, Brent, Stewart
  • Gleason, Pitkanen
  • Faulk, Kaberle
  • Allen, Harrison

We don't know who will start in net for Carolina.  Cam Ward likes to play in back-to-backs, but Brian Boucher has looked pretty sharp in the preseason.  With another game coming up in New Jersey on Monday afternoon, this could go either way.  As soon as we get the official word, I will post it here.

Also, I would anticipate a change on the blueline.  I'm sure they did not keep Ryan Murphy up from juniors just to sit in the press box.  He might see some action tonight.

((UPDATE))  Confirmed by @ice_chip, Boucher will start and the lines remain the same, including the defense.

There is some controversy in Washington already, and the season has yet to even start.  Coach Bruce Boudreau has decided to start Michal Neuvirth in goal for this game, instead of free agent prize Tomas Vokoun, and Vokoun's agent is not pleased.

Here are the projected lines according to SB Nation DC:

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Mike Knuble

Alexander Semin - Mathieu Perreault - Troy Brouwer

Jason Chimera - Brooks Laich - Joel Ward

Matt Hendricks - Marcus Johansson - - Jeff Halpern - Jay Beagle

Mike Green, Dennis Wideman, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Tom Poti, Roman Hamrlik, and Jeff Schultz will probably be the blueliners.

Alex Ovechkin has returned from Russia, where he attended his uncle's funeral, and was skating on his own at 8 p.m. last night at the Caps' practice rink.  And some folk don't think this guy takes the game seriously?

For more info on the Caps, check out our partners over at Japers' Rink, who always have the latest and greatest news about their team. 

Other places of interest include, Kings of Leonsis, Capitals Insider, and Capitals Watch.

The Hurricanes certainly won't be favorites to win this matchup, but will they put up a solid fight, like so many Carolina teams of old, or will they fold like they seemingly did in waning minutes of the game last night?

This one will be televised in HD on FS Carolinas starting at 7 and we will have our game thread ready to go and open for discussion starting at 6:30.