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Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Canes Ice Veteran Group

Friday, 09.23.2011 / 12:53 PM / 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 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61