Jan 27, 2014; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goalie Anton Khudobin (31) and teammate defensemen John-Michael Liles (26) watch the shot in front of the Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno (71) during the 3rd period at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes: Game #74 Vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Mar 3, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen (19) looks to pass as Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak (42) gets into position during the first period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Two days after recording their first shutout of the season, the Carolina Hurricanes (32-32-9) face the Columbus Blue Jackets (37-29-6) at home tonight at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Carolinas and broadcasted on the radio at 99.9 FM The Fan.

The Hurricanes and Blue Jackets have split four previous games with each team winning twice. The Canes won the last contest on March 18 by a 3-1 score.

Hurricanes’ Lineup
Jiri Tlusty – Eric Staal – Andrei Loktionov
Nathan Gerbe – Jordan Staal – Alexander Semin
Jeff Skinner – Riley Nash – Patrick Dwyer
Drayson Bowman – Manny Malhotra – Elias Lindholm
 
Andrej Sekera – Justin Faulk
John-Michael Liles – Ron Hainsey
Brett Bellemore – Jay Harrison
 
Cam Ward/Anton Khudobin
Possible Scratches: Mike Komisarek, Radek Dvorak and Justin Peters (Healthy).
 
Blue Jackets’ Lineup
Boone Jenner – Ryan Johansen – Nathan Horton
Matt Calvert – Brandon Dubinsky – Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno – Artem Anisimov – R.J. Umberger
Blake Comeau – Mark Letestu – Derek MacKenzie
 
Jack Johnson – Dalton Prout
James Wisniewski – Fedor Tyutin
Nick Schultz – David Savard
 
Curtis McElhinney/Mike McKenna
Possible Scratches: Sergei Bobrovsky and Ryan Murray (Injured). Nikita Nikitin and Jared Boll (Healthy).

Hurricanes’ Outlook

The team played a strong game in its last match against the Florida Panthers as evidenced by the shutout. However, it was against a down-and-out team, which the Blue Jackets are certainly not.

Eric Staal got back on track, along with Andrej Sekera and Justin Faulk, who were both going through a rough stretch of games.

The new lines continue to jell together and the move by coach Kirk Muller could be his best as the season comes to an end with only nine games remaining.

It’s highly unlikely anyone, but Khudobin is between the pipes tonight.

I’m guessing Drayson Bowman will be back in the lineup, after Radek Dvorak ran into Roberto Luongo on Thursday night.

Blue Jackets’ Outlook

As one of several teams fighting for a Metropolitan playoff spot or a wildcard spot, the Blue Jackets cannot afford to take any game lightly.

However, there’s some unfortunate scheduling on the Hurricanes’ side. Columbus lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, in Columbus, meaning the team had to travel last night or this morning to get to Raleigh.

The Blue Jackets will likely be tired by the third period, but as stated earlier, they know how important the current stretch of games is.

Ryan Johansen leads the team with 54 points in 73 games.

Sergei Bobrovsky left the Blue Jackets’ game against the Detroit Red Wings after the first period due to an illness and did not play against the Penguins. If he can’t go again, it will be Curtis McElhinney or Mike McKenna in net.

A recap will be posted after the game.

Tags: Anton Khudobin Carolina Hurricanes

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