Game 16Jackets Face the Slumping 'Canes at Home

This one should be easy for the Jackets. I hate to bag on a team when they are down and out, but the Canes are downright awful this season. I expected big things from Carolina, especiially after being in the final four last season. Something is just not working, and the Jackets will look to capitalize on that tonight as the Hurricanes visit Nationwide.

As if things weren't bad enough for the Canes-who are without a win in 11 games- they will be playing without Captain Eric Staal and Ray Whitney. The Jackets on the hand see the return of Mike Commodore to the lineup. He's been out with a charley horse. Derek Dorsett is also expected to play, there was some doubt that he would take to the ice because he went into the board awkwardly in the Atlanta game and left the game with a sore knee.

Steve Mason will get the start tonight, and I look for him to continue his recent strong play. It took a while, but it seems like he is getting things back on track. Added to that is the fact that the Jackets are playing with a full compliment of blueliners, and the defensive zone issues may be a thing of the past. Russ will sit out tonight with an illness, but chances are good that he would have been a healthy scratch anyway.

This game has the potential however to go in the other direction. The other shoe is sure to drop soon for Carolina, they are a desperate club looking to end a major slide. Columbus hasn't won on home ice in four games, going 0-1-2 in their last three at home. If they can't get things going early and Mase falters, the Canes still have enough talent up front and in net that they can pull off a win. I don't see this happening however, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Canes pulled it off.

Fearless Prediction- Mase gets a shutout, Jackets score 5 goals. Nash with a pair.

Game Time: 7:00pm ET

Opponent's Blog: Canes Country

Game Page: Hurricanes vs Blue Jackets Coverage

TSN Preview: Hurricanes vs Blue Jackets preview

TV: FSN Ohio

Radio: WBNS-AM (1460); WWCD-FM (101.1)

More after the jump...

From the Columbus Dispatch:

The Blue Jackets are 0-1-2 in their past three home games, going without a win in Nationwide Arena since Oct. 17 vs. Los Angeles. The Hurricanes extended their winless streak to 11 games last night with a home loss to Toronto, a meeting of the NHL's two worst clubs. Former Blue Jacket Ray Whitney is unlikely to play tonight because of an upper-body injury. The Hurricanes are also without top center Eric Staal.

Jackets Links:

Columbus Blue Jackets / Columbus Blue Jackets Schedule

Columbus Blue Jackets Roster / Columbus Blue Jackets Stats

Here are the lineups for tonight's tilt:

Columbus Blue Jackets

R.J. Umberger
Antoine Vermette
Rick Nash
Raffi Torres
Derick Brassard
Jakub Voracek
Jason Chimera Samuel Pahlsson Derek Dorsett
Nikita Filatov
Derek MacKenzie
Jared Boll

Fedor Tyutin Anton Stralman
Rostislav Klesla
Jan Hejda
Marc Methot Mike Commodore
Steve Mason
Mathieu Garon

EXTRA: Kris Russell

INJURED: Fredrik Modin, Andrew Murray, Kristian Huselius, Michael Blunden

Carolina Hurricanes

Tuomo Ruutu
Jussi Jokinen
Erik Cole
Zach Boychuk
Matt Cullen
Chad LaRose
Sergei Samsonov
Rod Brind"Amour
Colby Armstrong
Tom Kostopoulos
Stephane Yelle
Brandon Sutter
Tim Gleason
Joe Corvo
Joni Pitkanen
Aaron Ward
Niclas Wallin
Andrew Alberts
Cam Ward
Michael Leighton

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