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At the Rink: Hurricanes vs. Blue Jackets

by Craig Merz

COLUMBUS – The Columbus Blue Jackets will continue their revolving-door lineup Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Losers of five straight, the Blue Jackets will welcome back physical forwards Matt Calvert and Boone Jenner. Calvert missed the past four games with an upper-body injury, while Jenner is making his season debut after breaking his left hand in practice Sept. 28.

However, defenseman Ryan Murray will not play vs. the Hurricanes because of a “minor setback,” to his surgically repaired knee, according to Columbus coach Todd Richards. Murray sat the first eight games the 2014-15 season recovering from offseason knee surgery.

Also, defenseman Cody Goloubef sustained a knee injury Saturday during the 3-2 loss at the New Jersey Devils and could be out six weeks.

“You lose two you get two. A week or 10 days ago we had eight defensemen. Now we’re down to five,” Richards said, noting that James Wisniewski broke a finger last week. The team recalled Frederic St-Denis for defensive depth as well.

“It’s what we’re going through right now. We’ve got to deal with it,” Richards said. “We need certain players to be better. We don’t need them to do more; we need them to be better.”

Calvert and Boone, on a line with rookie center Alexander Wennberg, hope to provide a lift to the Blue Jackets (4-7-0).

“We’re going to try to bring energy,” Calvert said. “We have fresh legs. Hopefully, that will help.”

Jenner, known for his crash-and-bang style as a rookie last season when he scored 16 times, is striving to play the same way despite being out of action so long.

“I want to come back by storm. I don’t want to ease into it,” he said. “I’ve been working pretty hard the last couple of weeks to make sure my game’s as close as it can be to what I want to do. I want to contribute right away and bring my style of game.”

Carolina coach Bill Peters expects the Blue Jackets to have some jump against his team, which is (2-6-2).

“They’re going to get a good boost out of those guys coming back in the lineup similar to what we got with Pat Dwyer and Nathan Gerbe coming back in,” he said.

The Hurricanes have won the past two games with right wing Alexander Semin (two assists in eight games) a healthy scratch but he will be return to the top line with Jiri Tlusty and center Eric Staal.

“I’d like to see him work,” Peters said of Semin. “Work real hard and work similar to what our 12 forwards that have been in the lineup the last two games have worked. I’d like to see him compete at the level we’re at and play at the pace the League is at. The League’s at a pretty good pace right now.”

Goaltender Cam Ward will make his fourth straight start but Peters said he will decide in a few days if Anton Khudobin starts when the Hurricanes and Blue Jackets play Friday in Raleigh, N.C.

Here are the projected lineups:


Jiri Tlusty - Eric StaalAlexander Semin

Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm

Chris Terry - Victor Rask - Zach Boychuk

Jeff Skinner - Jay McClementPatrick Dwyer

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk

Tim Gleason - Jay Harrison

Ron Hainsey - Brett Bellemore

Cam Ward

Anton Khudobin

Scratches: John-Michael Liles, Brad Malone

Injuries: Jordan Staal (broken leg)


Scott Hartnell - Ryan Johansen - Cam Atkinson

Brian GibbonsNick FolignoJack Skille

Matt Calvert - Alexander WennbergBoone Jenner

Marko DanoMichael ChaputJared Boll

Ryan Murray - David Savard

Fedor Tyutin - Jack Johnson

Tim Erixon - Dalton Prout

Curtis McElhinney

Anton Forsberg

Scratched: Corey Tropp, Adam Cracknell

Injuries: Ryan Murray (knee), Artem Anisimov (concussion), Nathan Horton (back), Brandon Dubinsky (abdominal surgery), Mark Letestu (groin), James Wisniewski (fractured finger), Sergei Bobrovsky (fractured finger), Cody Goloubef (knee).

Status report: In Murray’s absence, St.-Denis was recalled Monday from the Springfield Falcons (AHL). He has not played in the NHL since appearing in 17 games for the Montreal Canadiens in 2011-12… With the return of Semin, Skinner was dropped from the top line to skate with Dwyer and McClement, keeping intact the Nash and Rask lines. “Those [two] lines have been going good. They don’t deserve to be split up,” Peters said.

Who’s hot: Lindholm was goalless in the first eight games but has three in the past two games.

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