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At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Panthers, Hurricanes

Saturday, 03.02.2013 / 12:57 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Projected lineups for Panthers, Hurricanes

After about two weeks of playing without a number of their regulars, the Carolina Hurricanes are welcoming back the majority of their walking wounded.

Two days after activating Tim Gleason and Tim Brent from injured reserve and welcoming back Jeff Skinner, who had been out with a concussion, the team announced that defenseman Joni Pitkanen has been activated from injured reserve.

The veteran Finn missed seven games with a lower-body injury. Pitkanen leads Carolina's defenseman with a plus-8 rating. The Hurricanes went 3-4-0 without Pitkanen, who prior to the injury was averaging a career-high of 24:30 in ice time per game. He ranks fifth in the NHL with 31.4 shifts per game.

Entering Saturday's game in Raleigh against the Florida Panthers, the Hurricanes lead the Southeast Division with 21 points. The timely addition of Pitkanen and Gleason gives Carolina two veteran defensemen who have combined for 1,095 NHL regular-season games.

Here are the projected lineups for Saturday's game between the Panthers and Hurricanes:

PANTHERS

Tomas Fleischmann - Marcel Goc - Jack Skille

Drew Shore - Jonathan Huberdeau - Peter Mueller

Scottie Upshall - Stephen Weiss - Tomas Kopecky

Jerred Smithson - Shawn Matthias - George Parros/Mike Santorelli

Dmitry Kulikov - Erik Gudbranson

Tyson Strachan - Brian Campbell

Filip Kuba - Colby Robak

Jose Theodore

Scott Clemmensen

Injuries: Kris Versteeg, Michael Caruso, Ed Jovanovski, Mike Weaver

HURRICANES

Jiri TlustyEric Staal – Alex Semin

Jeff SkinnerJordan StaalChad LaRose

Jussi JokinenRiley NashPatrick Dwyer

Drayson BowmanTim BrentTim Wallace

Tim Gleason - Joe Corvo

Jay HarrisonJustin Faulk

Joni PitkanenJamie McBain

Cam Ward

Dan Ellis

Injury: Tuomo Ruutu

Scratches: Kevin Westgarth, Bobby Sanguinetti

Quote of the Day

He is, in my opinion, one of the best defensemen in the NHL and continuing to grow. I think his game, from an offensive standpoint, he continues to drive our offense... I think there's still tremendous upside for Oliver.

— Coyotes GM Don Maloney on defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson