Welcome to lovely Saskatoon, home of the Last Chance Saloon for at least a few Carolina Hurricanes roster hopefuls.
The Hurricanes and Oilers will hit the ice tonight for the penultimate game (there’s a Kaitonism for you) of the 2017 preseason. The Canes will send out a roster of mostly depth players, and given Bill Peters’ assertion last week that he plans to use Friday’s game against the Capitals as a dress rehearsal for the regular-season opener, tonight is where a good number of decisions will be made.
Among those: will Martin Necas earn a spot on the opening-night roster? One of the breakout stars of camp will move to the right side along with Jeff Skinner and Derek Ryan, perhaps as a Lee Stempniak stopgap until the veteran returns from an injury, whenever that is. Nicolas Roy will earn his first start of the preseason after healing from a concussion, likely ticketed for Charlotte but at least earning a look with the Hurricanes.
And each of the candidates for the sixth defenseman spot will play tonight. Haydn Fleury draws the pairing alongside Trevor van Riemsdyk, perhaps giving us an idea of who has the inside track.
Jeff Skinner - Derek Ryan - Martin Necas
Sebastian Aho - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Brock McGinn - Marcus Kruger - Josh Jooris
Phil Di Giuseppe - Nicolas Roy - Valentin Zykov
Haydn Fleury - Trevor van Riemsdyk
Jake Bean - Klas Dahlbeck
Trevor Carrick - Jake Chelios
Similar to the Hurricanes, the Oilers put a lineup on the ice that looked like a potential opening night preview on Monday. Tonight, it’s a bit younger, especially on defense, but still with some serious firepower up front. Here’s how they’ll line up:
Patrick Maroon - Connor McDavid - Kailer Yamamoto
Milan Lucic - Leon Draisaitl - Jesse Puljujarvi
Drake Caggiula - Ryan Strome - Zack Kassian
Brad Malone - Chris Kelly - Iiro Pakarinen
Yohann Auvitu - Adam Larsson
Kris Russell - Matt Benning
Darnell Nurse - Eric Gryba
Remember that this game will again be available on Hurricanes.com for viewers in North and South Carolina, so fire up the stream and see if the Canes can make it a 3-for-3 road trip tonight. Enjoy the game!