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Game Day: Hurricanes at Blues 9-30-14

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Following a six-day break in the preseason schedule, the Canes head out today for another set of back-to-back games and another round of roster evaluations. Eric Staal, Alex Semin, and Haydn Fleury are all scheduled to be in tonight's line-up against the Blues.

Haydn Fleury is scheduled to be back in the line-up tonight.
Haydn Fleury is scheduled to be back in the line-up tonight.
Jamie Kellner

Carolina Hurricanes at St. Louis Blues
September 30, 2014 - 8:00 pm ET
Scottrade Center - St. Louis, MO
Radio - 99.9 FM The Fan
SB Nation Rival Blog - St. Louis Game Time

Since last Wednesday's win against the Islanders, the Hurricanes have held a Caniac Carnival fan festival and scrimmage, added a familiar face to training camp, and trimmed the roster to 36. Head coach Bill Peters intends to finalize the Opening Night line-up by Friday night's home game against the Sabres, but there are still several decisions to be made. Those should begin to reveal themselves after the back-to-back games in St. Louis tonight and in Columbus tomorrow night. After another uptempo practice on Monday, the line-ups for the next two games have not yet been set, but here is what we know.

  • Eric Staal and Alexander Semin should both see their first preseason appearance tonight. For the time being, Staal and Semin have been reunited with Jiri Tlusty, and that will likely be the top line going into the regular season.
  • The "two hole" spot is still up for grabs in Jordan Staal's absence and the competition is still too close to call. Jay McClement, who won't play tonight, will be called upon to center the first penalty kill unit, and may move up into some 3C responsibilities. He centered Nathan Gerbe and Zach Boychuk in yesterday's practice. Meanwhile Riley Nash continued to center Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm, while Victor Rask centered Brock McGinn and Chris Terry.
  • Rookie defenseman Haydn Fleury is expected to be in tonight's line-up. All twelve defensemen still in camp will see ice time over the next two games. Peters intends to switch some to their off sides to see how they fare against what is expected to be strong forechecking from both St. Louis and Columbus.
  • There has been no announcement as to who will be in net, although the expectation is that both Anton Khudobin and Cam Ward will start over the next two games.
  • The aforementioned familiar face, Chad LaRose, who joined camp on a tryout over the weekend, isn't expected to see any game action until possibly Sunday's preseason finale against Washington.
  • The game group will practice at PNC Arena today at 10:30, and the non-game group will practice at 11:30, so line-ups should be forthcoming. The team will fly out to St. Louis mid-afternoon.

UPDATE 10:45 AM: Here's tonight's line-up (per twitter):

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Canes?src=hash">#Canes</a> game-group forwards:&#10;Tlusty-E. Staal-Semin&#10;Skinner-Nash-Lindholm&#10;McGinn-Rask-Terry&#10;Malone-Sutter-Brown</p>&mdash; Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) <a href="https://twitter.com/MSmithCanes/status/516958273900408832">September 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Canes?src=hash">#Canes</a> game-group D pairs:&#10;Sekera-Faulk&#10;Harrison-Murphy&#10;Fleury-Biega</p>&mdash; Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) <a href="https://twitter.com/MSmithCanes/status/516960120195268608">September 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Cam Ward in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Canes?src=hash">#Canes</a> starter&#39;s crease. Drew MacIntyre opposite.</p>&mdash; Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) <a href="https://twitter.com/MSmithCanes/status/516958463709433856">September 30, 2014</a></blockquote>

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The St. Louis Blues are 0-4 in their preseason, dropping two games to the Blue Jackets and two to the Dallas Stars. Their line-up for tonight:

  • Forwards: David Backes, Patrik Berglund, Robby Fabbri, Dmitrij Jaskin, Jori Lehtera, Joakim Lindstrom, Peter Mueller, T.J. Oshie, Magnus Paajarvi, Paul Stastny, Alexander Steen, Vladimir Tarasenko
  • Defense: Jay Bouwmeester, Barret Jackman, Petteri Lindbohm, Alex Pietrangelo, Nate Prosser, Kevin Shattenkirk
  • Goalies: Brian Elliott, Jake Allen

There is no video stream for tonight's game but both teams are offering radio broadcasts through their local affiliates.

News Links:

  • Bill Peters audio from Monday's practice [CH.com].
  • Canes top four centers are still to be determined [N&O]. One player trying to make the case to stay on the roster is Victor Rask [N&O].
  • The Canes are holding a fan scavenger hunt for a chance to win tickets to Opening Night [CH.com].
  • The latest Cheaters Never Win podcast deals with the loss of Jordan Staal and speculates on fantasy drafts with NHL.com's Pete Jensen [Section 328].
  • The Raleigh Sports Council held their annual We Love the Canes luncheon yesterday at PNC Arena and presented the Kids 'N Community Foundation with a $20,000 check [twitter].
  • Jaden Schwartz on signing his two-year, $4.7million contract with the Blues on Saturday [In The Slot].
  • The Blues are sticking with their reliable defensive pairing of Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo [In The Slot].