Mar 14, 2014; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo (1) makes a save as New Jersey Devils left wing Tuomo Ruutu (15) leaps in front in the second period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
The Carolina Hurricanes (34-32-11) will play their second-to-last game at home tonight as they take on the New Jersey Devils (33-28-16) at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports: Carolinas and on the radio at 99.9 FM The Fan.
This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams. The Devils have won twice including a 5-4 win on March 8, days after the Andrei Loktionov-Tuomo Ruutu trade. Hurricanes’ Lineup Alexander Semin/Jiri Tlusty – Eric Staal – Andrei Loktionov Nathan Gerbe – Jordan Staal – Patrick Dwyer Jeff Skinner – Riley Nash – Elias Lindholm Drayson Bowman – Manny Malhotra – Radek Dvorak Ryan Murphy – Justin Faulk John-Michael Liles – Ron Hainsey Brett Bellemore – Jay Harrison Cam Ward/Anton Khudobin Possible Scratches: Mike Komisarek and Justin Peters (Healthy). Alexander Semin, Andrej Sekera and Jiri Tlusty (Injured). Devils’ Lineup Tuomo Ruutu – Travis Zajac – Jaromir Jagr Patrick Elias – Adam Henrique – Mike Sislo Damien Brunner – Danius Zubrus – Michael Ryder Ryan Carter – Jacob Josefson – Steve Bernier Andy Greene – Mark Fayne Marek Zidlicky – Peter Harrold Adam Larsson – Eric Gelinas Cory Schneider/Martin Brodeur Possible Scratches: Ryan Clowe (Injured).
Despite the playoffs being a longshot, the Canes have played really well lately, and on Thursday the team got strong efforts from John-Michael Liles, Justin Faulk and Anton Khudobin.
However, there are some lineup questions going into this one. Jiri Tlusty, Drayson Bowman and Alexander Semin missed the last game, while Chris Terry and Zach Boychuk were sent down yesterday. At least two of those players figure to return tonight.
Andrej Sekera also missed the game against the Stars, but Ryan Murphy was recalled yesterday and would take Mike Komisarek‘s spot in the lineup if Sekera is still not ready for game action.
I can’t imagine that Khudobin doesn’t get the start tonight as he continues his magic this season.
The Devils are nearly in the same boat as the Hurricanes as they have a chance at the postseason, but it’s much closer to a spot. They improved those chances by losing last night to the Washington Capitals, 2-1.
The team had to travel from Newark, N.J. to Raleigh sometime over the past day, so fatigue could be a problem for the Devils as the game moves along.
Tuomo Ruutu is playing well for the team with three points (two goals, one assist) in his last three games.
Cory Schneider played last night and could see the net again as he has been the stronger option in net for the Devils over Martin Brodeur.
41-year-old Jaromir Jagr leads the team with 64 points in 77 games.