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The Return Of Ruutu: Devils at Hurricanes Game Day Preview

Tuomo Ruutu makes his season debut tonight. Brett Bellemore makes his NHL debut.

photo by Jamie Kellner
Carolina Hurricanes vs New Jersey Devils
March 21, 2013 - 7:00 pm EST
PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC

TV - Fox Sports Carolinas Radio - 99.9 The Fan
SB Nation Devils Blog: In Lou We Trust (@InLouWeTrust)

Hurricanes Record: 15-12-2 (32 pts.)

Devils Record: 13-11-6 (32 pts.)

The Carolina Hurricanes try to put an end to a four game losing streak tonight as they take on the New Jersey Devils at the PNC Arena. Since taking a 2-0 first period lead against the Washington Capitals a week ago, the Canes have been able to do little right on the offensive side of things.

They have scored just three goals in their last 11 plus periods of hockey.

But as the team struggles offensively, the defense is the concern as Justin Faulk is out for two to four weeks with a strain of the MCL. Joe Corvo continues to be out as well, so Brett Bellemore has been recalled from Charlotte and will make his NHL debut tonight.

Speaking of debuts, Tuomo Ruutu will play his first game of the season tonight. Ruutu will start out on the fourth line with Adam Hall and Tim Brent. Kevin Westgarth and Tim Wallace will be the healthy extras.

According to Michael Smith's depth chart, the lines for tonight will be as follows:

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin

Jeff Skinner - Jordan Staal - Patrick Dwyer

Drayson Bowman - Riley Nash - Jussi Jokinen

Tuomo Ruutu - Tim Brent - Adam Hall

Tim Gleason - Bobby Sanguinetti

Joni Pitkanen - Jamie McBain

Jay Harrison - Brett Bellemore

Dan Ellis will get his third straight start for Carolina.

The Canes are not playing a team lower than them in the standings tonight. The Devils are tied with the Hurricanes and the Rangers for the final two playoff spots. Each of the teams has 32 points.

While Ruutu should give the home team a shot in the arm tonight, the visitors will have Martin Brodeur return between the pipes for them. The future Hall of Famer has been out of the Jersey lineup for about a month and is a most welcome return for them.

For more details about the Devils, check out the detailed game preview over at In Lou We Trust.

We will have our open thread up and ready at 6:30 as usual.

In other news, the Hurricanes reclaimed Zach Boychuk off of waivers today. They have been trying to get him to Charlotte for over the past month, let's see what happens now. Our question from yesterday, Mike Komisarek cleared waivers.

I apologize that the preview is so late, it has been a crazy day today and I am also sorry to say Brian will not have the three questions.