(SportsNetwork.com) – As the Carolina Hurricanes have gotten healthy, the wins
have started to come.
The Columbus Blue Jackets can only hope for the same result on Tuesday night
as they try to snap their skid in a meeting with the visiting ‘Canes to begin
a home-and-home series.
The Blue Jackets have lost five straight and on Saturday played without nine
of their regular skaters in a 3-2 loss to New Jersey. Among those missing
included starting goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, Nathan Horton, Brandon Dubinsky
and Artem Anisimov.
In all, Columbus has lost 39 man games due to injury, but they are expected to
have forwards Boone Jenner and Matt Calvert back in action tonight.
Jenner was activated off of injured reserve on Monday and is set for his
season debut. The 21-year-old, who posted 16 goals and 29 points in 72 games
as a rookie last season, suffered a broken hand in practice on Sept. 27.
Calvert, meanwhile, has been out since Oct. 24 with an upper-body injury, but
joined Jenner in returning to practice on Monday.
Columbus could use the help after getting goals from only Nick Foligno and
Jack Skille versus the Devils. Anton Forsberg gave up three goals on 29 shots
in his NHL debut.
“It is a lot of feelings and all that,” said Forsberg. “As a little boy this
is everybody’s dream.”
Columbus also lost defenseman Cody Goloubef to a sprained right knee that is
expected to keep him out for six weeks.
Carolina knows the feeling, having lost 34 man games to injury this season.
The Hurricanes were without Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner at one point and are
still missing Jordan Staal due to a broken right leg.
However, the rest of the roster is healthy and Carolina has responded by
winning back-to-back games following a 0-6-2 start.
After blanking Arizona 3-0 on Saturday for their first win, the Hurricanes got
past the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Sunday.
Elias Lindholm and Chris Terry had a goal and an assist each, while Victor
Rask netted his first career goal.
Cam Ward, coming off a 25-save shutout versus the Coyotes, had 30 saves
against the Kings.
“I thought we were really pushing the pace,” said Ward. “To be able to beat
the defending Stanley Cup champions proves that we can win against any team in
With the healthy bodies, head coach Bill Peters has opted to make Alexander
Semin a healthy scratch for the past two games as the winger has notched only
two assists and a minus-7 rating over the first eight games.
Semin could return to the lineup tonight after practicing on Monday on a line
with Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty.
Ward will start for Carolina looking for his first career win over Columbus as
well as his club’s first road victory of the season (0-5-1).
Ward is 0-4-0 with a 3.73 goals against average and .854 save percentage in
five career starts versus the Blue Jackets.
Curtis McElhinney will counter in net for Columbus and is 1-2-0 in his career
when facing the ‘Canes, posting a 3.62 GAA and .859 save percentage in four
meetings with three starts.
The Blue Jackets, who visit Carolina on Friday, have won eight of their past
10 versus the Hurricanes. Carolina snapped a four-game series road losing
streak in March.