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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Columbus Blue Jackets: Lineups and Game Discussion

The Canes meet the Blue Jackets in a Metro Division tilt as they get back to action after a long break.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

To start, let’s take a moment to note that there’s been some excellent news regarding Mike Maniscalco. For those that haven’t heard, it was very good news this morning, in a release from the Hurricanes:

Mike underwent successful surgery on Monday to remove a large mass from his abdomen. The surgery was performed by Dr. Michael LeCompte and Dr. Michael Meyers at UNC REX Hospital in Raleigh. Today, Mike received the results of the biopsy, which determined the mass to be non-cancerous.

From everyone here at Canes Country, here’s wishing Mike a speedy recovery!

If it seems like it’s been a while since the Carolina Hurricanes (6-3-0, 12pts) played a game, it’s not your imagination. The team last took to the ice six days ago in Anaheim. For those who (unlike me) chose not to stay up and watch the entirety of that one, let’s just say the extra few hours of sleep was the better choice. Tonight, the Canes will look to get back to winning ways as they travel to Columbus for a divisional match-up against the Blue Jackets.

In terms of the lineup and availability, the best news has to be that Erik Haula will suit up for tonight’s game. He took a nasty check in the Anaheim game, but he’s been at practice this week and will be good to go. Haula was one of the few bright spots on the California trip, and he enters tonight’s game on a five-game point streak. In addition to the point streak, his seven goals lead the team. Another player who had a solid performance in Anaheim was Haydn Fleury. He scored his first NHL goal in that one, and he’ll be one of the seven defensemen dressed tonight in Columbus.

No matter who Rod Brind’Amour has on the ice, it’s clear what he’ll be looking for - more scoring.

The Canes have scored two goals in each of their last four games (they lost three of those). In the NHL, three goals is a veritable magic number. If you can’t get at least three - more often than not - you lose. Tonight, with seven defensemen dressed, expect a heavy dose of Sebastian Aho. The Finn hasn’t scored a goal this season when there was an opposing goaltender in the net. That obviously needs to change, and the seven defensemen strategy will provide an opportunity to get Aho more ice time.

Although he hesitates to break up his forward lines, the expected lines released by the team show some changes. Teuvo is now listed with Jordan and Svech; while Foegele has been promoted to the Nino-Aho line. Brock McGinn has been listed on the fourth line. While the forward lines will be fluid tonight since there will be only eleven dressed, the shakeup seems necessary.

In goal, Petr Mrazek gets back on the horse after being pulled in Anaheim. While it was only Petr’s first loss of the season, the Anaheim performance was a rout. He’ll be eager to rebound from it.

Here’s how the Canes are expected to line up:

Andrei Svechnikov - Jordan Staal - Teuvo Teravainen
Nino Niederreiter - Sebastian Aho - Warren Foegele
Ryan Dzingel - Erik Haula - Martin Necas
Brock McGinn - Lucas Wallmark

Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Joel Edmundson - Brett Pesce
Jake Gardiner - Trevor van Riemsdyk
Haydn Fleury

Petr Mrazek
James Reimer

Injuries and Scratches: Jordan Martinook (core muscle)

After a 1-3 start to their season, the Columbus Blue Jackets (4-3-2, 10pts) have secured points in their last five games. The point streak has been...well...I’ll call it unexpected.

Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella was more direct. ”We’re supposed to suck this year,” he said after their latest win on Monday. The coach’s blunt style might not fill his players with confidence, but it’s hard to argue with the results. The blue-collar effort has been led by Joonas Korpisalo, who sports a 2.70 GAA and .905 save percentage. The numbers aren’t great, but they’ve been good enough to keep the Blue Jackets in games and earning points.

In terms of scoring, the Jackets have five players tied for the team-lead with five points each; Pierre-Luc Dubois is the leading goal scorer with four.

Tonight, they’ll be without Markus Nutivaara, who is out with a lower-body concern. Scott Harrington will take his place on the blue line.

The Blue Jackets expected lines:

Nick Foligno - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Cam Atkinson
Gustav Nyqvist - Alexander Wennberg - Josh Anderson
Alexandre Texier - Boone Jenner - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Sonny Milano - Riley Nash - Emil Bemstrom

Zach Werenski - Seth Jones
Ryan Murray - Scott Harrington
Vladislav Gavrikov - David Savard

Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins

Injuries and Scratches: Brandon Dubinsky (IR wrist), Liam Foudy (IR upper-body), Josh Anderson (IR upper-body), Markus Nutivaara (lower-body)