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Gameday: Canes Hit Road for Three in Three

Thursday, 09.19.2013 / 1:25 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith

The Carolina Hurricanes will hit the road Thursday for a trio of preseason games, as they face the Sabres tonight and the Canadiens on Friday (in Quebec City) and Saturday (in Montreal).

Michael Smith
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As the training camp roster will be whittled down to just one group by next week, these three games could provide some players with a final chance to leave an impression on the coaching staff.

“They key is that we recognize that we only have five [preseason] games left, and that we really want to push the detail part of our game, and I think that’s where we fell apart last night,” Muller said. “We reminded the group today that what we’re looking for tonight is … more attention to detail and a consistent work ethic to compete.”

The Hurricanes’ lineup for Thursday’s tilt in Buffalo includes nine skaters from Wednesday night’s preseason opener: Zac Dalpe, Jeff Skinner, Jeremy Welsh, Nathan Gerbe, Chris Terry, Brett Sutter, Ryan Murphy, Brett Bellemore and Michal Jordan.

“They’re getting the opportunity to play these games,” Muller said of those who are dressing again in a back-to-back scenario.

Also in the lineup tonight are Jordan Staal and Jiri Tlusty, who has been cautiously held back after being crunched along the boards in a scrimmage last Friday.

Though he’s been a winger for most of his NHL career with the Canes, Patrick Dwyer will draw in as the team’s third-line center against the Sabres.

“I know how to do it, and we’ll see how it goes,” he said. “It’s not too hard. It’s a transition that I’m used to”

Don’t expect the move to last long, though. Muller said penciling in Dwyer at center is simply a numbers game.

“We’re a little lighter at center,” he said. “But it gives me a chance to experiment to see Patty there. I know he has played center. But it’s not really anything to read into too much.”

Anton Khudobin will make his Hurricanes debut, as he gets the start in net versus Buffalo. Mike Murphy, who was initially sent down Wednesday evening only to be recalled Thursday morning, will serve as the backup.

Muller said that Cam Ward could get as many as four starts in six preseason games, so it’s likely he’ll see game time either Friday or Saturday. It’s possible a forward like Tuomo Ruutu, who has yet to see a preseason game, will crack the lineup soon, as well.

“They’ll get in, but it’s more giving the other guys an opportunity first to fit them in and make sure they get enough games so they feel like they got a fair shake,” Muller said.

You can follow the Canes in their northern sojourn via @Canes_Gameday, and Chuck Kaiton will have the call nightly on 99.9 The Fan. If you are in RDS viewing territory (or have access to the channel), they will carry the games on Friday and Saturday night.

The Hurricanes will return to Raleigh for an 8 a.m. practice on Monday, and they will round out their preseason schedule with games in Columbus and against Buffalo on Sept. 26 and 27.

Tonight's Lineup

Tlusty-J. Staal-Dalpe
J. Staal-Sutter-Boychuk


Khudobin, Murphy





1 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
2 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
3 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
4 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
5 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
6 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
7 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
8 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79


E. Staal 79 21 40 -13 61
J. Skinner 71 33 21 -14 54
A. Sekera 74 11 33 4 44
A. Semin 65 22 20 1 42
J. Staal 82 15 25 2 40
J. Faulk 76 5 27 -9 32
N. Gerbe 81 16 15 -6 31
J. Tlusty 68 16 14 2 30
R. Nash 73 10 14 0 24
P. Dwyer 75 8 14 -2 22
A. Khudobin 19 14 1 .926 2.30
C. Ward 10 12 6 .898 3.06