Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella doesn't sound like he wants retribution for a blindside hit to his captain, though the Carolina Hurricanes are saying they'll be ready for anything.
The Blue Jackets will likely be without Nick Foligno on Saturday night when they meet the visiting Hurricanes to complete a home-and-home set.
Carolina (17-18-7) beat Columbus 4-1 at home Friday, and one of the major talking points was a blind-side hit by the Hurricanes' Brad Malone on Foligno early in the third period. Foligno was hit in the chin and left the game after laying down face-first on the ice for some time.
The Blue Jackets' Ryan Malone got in the face of Brad Malone after that incident. Later in the period, Brad Malone and Columbus center Brandon Dubinsky got 5-minute fighting majors.
Tortorella said he gave Dubinsky "high marks" for fighting on behalf of his fallen teammate, but the coach claims there won't be any carry-over into this contest.
"They'll figure it out, the league has to look at it," Tortorella said. "I am certainly not going to complain or try and position anything. In the situation we're in, we need to shut our mouths and play. So there's no complaining here, I'm not going to belly-ache about it. Let the league figure it out and we need to get ready to play another game."
The Hurricanes are insisting it wasn't a dirty play.
"I know on the play I don't think either of them saw each other, it's an unfortunate play," forward Jordan Staal said. "Bugsy (Brad Malone) stood up for himself and he did a great job. Whether or not it's going to happen tomorrow, we'll see but we'll be ready as a team."
The Metropolitan Division's two worst teams played a physical game even before the third period as they matched up for the first time. Elias Lindholm scored twice, Kris Versteeg had two assists and Cam Ward made 35 saves as the Hurricanes ended a three-game slide.
"I thought it was a highly contested game and so it should be in the division," Carolina coach Bill Peters said.
Peters said he would give consideration to handing Ward Saturday's start. Ward has started both ends of a back-to-back three times, winning the second game on the last two occasions.
Dubinsky scored and Anton Forsberg made 25 saves as Columbus (15-24-3) dropped a fourth straight road game. If Forsberg doesn't start Saturday, Joonas Korpisalo is the other option with Sergei Bobrovsky and Curtis McElhinney on injured reserve
Blue Jackets fans will get their first look at defenseman Seth Jones, who made his club debut Friday after being acquired in the blockbuster deal two days earlier that sent underachieving Ryan Johansen to Nashville.
Columbus has dropped its last three home games with Carolina.
"We've gotta (have) more of an attack mind-set," Ryan Malone said. "I think we were a little robotic out there and just thinking more about what to do instead of just feeling what to do."
Hurricanes center Victor Rask, second on the team with 26 points, could play after sitting out Friday with an upper-body injury.