Canes Now

Tlusty should play against Jackets; Gleason out

The Canes Jiri Tlusty fires a shot during warm-ups before an NHL game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Los Angeles Kings at  PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. on Nov. 2,  2014.
The Canes Jiri Tlusty fires a shot during warm-ups before an NHL game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Los Angeles Kings at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. on Nov. 2, 2014. cseward@newsobserver.com

Jiri Tlusty should play Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets in what the Canes expect to be another tough, bruising game.

Tlusty, who took a hit to the head from Columbus' Jack Johnson in Tuesday's game in Columbus, went through the morning skate at PNC Arena. The winger then had some final medical testing, Canes coach Bill Peters said.

"I anticipate him playing. He said he feels good," Peters said. "I think he'll be in."

Defenseman Tim Gleason will not play, Peters said, and will be replaced by John-Michael Liles. Gleason did not practice Thursday and was the extra defenseman at the morning skate.

Tlusty was on Eric Staal's line with Alex Semin as the lines remained the same from Tuesday's game. Jeff Skinner will again be used on the fourth line with Jay McClement and Pat Dwyer. Riley Nash will center Nathan Gerbe and Elias Lindholm, and Victor Rask will center Chris Terry and Zach Boychuk.

The Canes topped the Blue Jackets 4-2 in Tuesday's game, taking a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Boychuk and Nash, then getting a shorthanded goal from Justin Faulk in the second for a 3-1 lead. The Johnson hit came during a physical third period.

Peters said it should be another "heavy game" and that the Jackets would come after the Canes with all four lines.

"Back to back, same opponent, there's usually a little more edge to the game," Peters said.

Defenseman Jay Harrison dropped the gloves with the Jackets' Scott Hartnell during the game Tuesday and both landed a few blows before tumbling to the ice. Harrison was given the fireman's helmet after the game as the team's top star.

As for Friday game, Harrison said, "It's a fresh 60 minutes, it's a fresh game, there's a fresh two points out there to get. With the makeup of their hockey club it's going to be a physical game.

'That's how they play. That's how they get their success. We'll counter that by being as physical as we can as well as being fast."

The Jackets, decimated by injuries this season, have lost six straight but are beginning to get players back. Boone Jenner and Matt Calvert returned to the lineup Tuesday and defenseman James Wisniewski will be back Friday after missing three games with a fractured finger.

Johnson has been suspended three games by the NHL for the hit on Tlusty. Wisniewski will be paired with Tim Erixon. Marko Dano and Adam Cracknell are the extras on D.

"They've got a balance of skill and size and we've got a balance of youth and skill and speed," Harrison said. "That makes for a great hockey game, when you get those two types of teams together.

"They never give points away easily. It takes a great effort and when you get it, it feels that much better to know you beat a solid hockey team."

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