– Preseason game No. 5 takes the Carolina Hurricanes to Nationwide Arena to face off with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are 5-1-0 in the exhibition season.
The Canes, meanwhile, are looking for their second win, coming off a 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. Carolina will ice a young lineup, punctuated with names like Victor Rask, Zach Boychuk, Brock McGinn, Michal Jordan and more who are looking to make an impression ahead of the next round of cuts.
“Tonight is going to go a long way to determine who we keep and who we have to send back to Charlotte or whatever the case may be,” head coach Bill Peters said. “After tonight, we’re down to two (preseason) games, obviously, and it’s going to go quick.”
Rask will center the team’s first line between Nathan Gerbe and Boychuk. Brad Malone, Jay McClement and Patrick Dwyer comprise a forward trio, perhaps a glimpse of what the team’s fourth line will be on Opening Night. The Canes’ bottom six is void of an NHL veteran presence, a prime opportunity for someone to stand out.
“It’s a younger group here tonight, so they’ve got to come with energy,” Peters said. “They’ve got to be talking. They’ve got to be jumping. When you’re young, you’ve got that youthful exuberance, and we should see that here tonight.”
Anton Khudobin will start in net and play the entire game. He’s faced nine shots in the preseason and stopped all of them. Cam Ward, who made 26 saves last night in a commendable performance, will serve as the back-up.
“He (Khudobin) is going to go the distance,” Peters said. “I expect him to continue to play well.”
CarolinaHurricanes.com will again be rinkside at Nationwide Arena tonight to bring you live in-game updates. The puck drops at 7 p.m. You can listen to the game on 99.9 FM The Fan and follow along on Twitter with these accounts: @NHLCanes, @Canes_Gameday and @MSmithCanes.