The Jackets, playing the finale of a stretch of four games in four days, will look to snap a three-game slide, hosting the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at 6 p.m.
Carolina has a losing streak of its own, dropping the first two games of the preseason, perhaps suffering from a Stanley Cup hangover. Though it lost a lot of veteran contributors to last season's squad, the core of the team returns in tact and added former Jackets winger Trevor Letowski as a free agent this summer.
Letowski spent two seasons in Columbus, scoring 25-35-60 in 154 games as a Blue Jacket before signing with Carolina on July 6. His departure has opened the door for Dan Fritsche, who has gelled with Manny Malhotra and Jason Chimera to form a solid third energy line that should be productive this season.
Also on the roster tonight for Carolina is former Jackets D Cale Hulse, C Kevyn Adams and LW Ray Whitney. D Derrick Walser is also on the Carolina roster but not expected to play tonight.
After starting a lot of its young players the past few games, Columbus management would like to get a look at the players projected to make the squad. Click here for tonight's rosters.
Pascal Leclaire will start tonight and is expected to play all 60 minutes. Rick Nash and David Vyborny will also play, with rookie Gilbert Brule centering for the dynamic duo. On the second line, Alexander Svitov will center a line with Fredrik Modin and Anson Carter.
Alexandre Picard, who has scored in three straight games, will see some action on the third line. Picard, who went scoreless last season in his brief stint with Columbus, has been very consistent tallying a goal in each of his three games.
On the blue line, D Bryan Berard is expected to see his first action of the preseason and play for the first time since having back surgery.