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Gameday: Canes Ice Veteran Group

Friday, 09.23.2011 / 12:53 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Canes Ice Veteran Group

When the Canes take the ice tonight to face Nashville in the preseason home opener, a good portion of the team will look familiar come opening night.

Michael Smith
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What have been the top two lines throughout camp are in the lineup up front, and on the back-end, two of the three pairings will most likely be seen in October, as well.

“It’s kind of a split squad,” head coach Paul Maurice said. “But it’s more of our high-end.”

The third and fourth forward lines comprise young guys fighting for roster spots, save Tim Brent. Among them are Zach Boychuk and Drayson Bowman.

“I’m not even looking for a guy spiking and having a good practice,” Maurice said. “Now that we’re into the grind, I’m looking for the guys who can maintain what they’re doing.

“They have to believe they deserve to be here. It happened with Jay Harrison last year. And he is a different man in practice now.”

Anthony Stewart, who has seen a lot of game-situations in terms of scrimmages and a preseason game in Buffalo, will be in the lineup again tonight. As has been the case in camp, he’ll skate on the wing with Jeff Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu.

“Ruutu is a big, strong body who can skate and Skinner is highly-skilled,” he said. “It’s been great so far, and I look forward to playing with them tonight.”

Tonight will be Stewart’s first real-game experience in front of his new home crowd. He said he’s excited to be back on the RBC Center ice, especially after the atmosphere of the Red-White Game.

“If it’s anything like the turnout in the Caniac Carnival, it should be good,” he said. “We got a pretty good lineup in tonight, so we expect to put on a good show and build on things that we’ve been working on since the beginning of camp.”

One aspect of his game that Stewart has been personally focused on is adjusting to the new system in Raleigh, something that has taken time but has been made easier with the assistance of the coaching staff.

“It’s a bit of a challenge and it’s going to take the full three weeks of camp to get used to it,” he said. “The coaching has been great, especially with Rod Brind’Amour pulling me aside for video and working on small things. I think we’re on target to be ready for opening night.”

With the exception of free-agent signee Tomas Kaberle, two of the defensive lines for tonight will be familiar. The third D-line will feature an oft mentioned young pairing from this year’s camp – Justin Faulk and Ryan Murphy. The two saw some time together on the power play in Buffalo on Monday night but were in different pairings at even strength.

“I think they need to be seen again,” Maurice said. “They will both play some day. When that is, we’ll see. Experience now is invaluable for them.”

Notes: Patrick Dwyer worked out with Pete Friesen this morning … He and Chad LaRose will probably be back on the ice early next week … Derek Joslin skated twice this morning and was the seventh defenseman in the game group … He missed the beginning of training camp due to illness, but Maurice said his numbers look good … Maurice also said that the coaching staff really liked Joslin’s game at the end of last season, and Joslin figures to be in the mix to grab a spot on the team

Here’s a look at the lineup for the Canes tonight:

Ponikarovsky – Staal – Jokinen
Skinner – Ruutu – Stewart
Terry – Brent – Boychuk
Brett Sutter – Nash – Bowman

Pitkanen – Gleason
Kaberle – McBain
Faulk – Murphy

Ward
Peters

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81