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).
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.