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At the Rink blog

Blue Jackets coping with injuries, lineup adjustments

Monday, 12.23.2013 / 1:10 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

The revolving door that is the Columbus Blue Jackets' lineup this season continues Monday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.

Forwards Derek MacKenzie and Jack Skille return and will play on the third line with Blake Comeau. MacKenzie missed both games of the Blue Jackets' home-and-home with the Philadelphia Flyers due to a lower-body injury. Skille scored a goal in his past game Thursday in Philadelphia but also took a shot off his hand in that game and missed the rematch Saturday, a 6-3 win in Columbus.

Though the Blue Jackets grabbed two points out of that game, they also lost two key players. Marian Gaborik sustained a broken collarbone in the first period of his return from a knee sprain and is out 6-8 weeks. Matt Calvert, who recently had a stretch of goals in three straight games, sustained a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and is expected to miss 2-3 weeks.

"I've never been a part of team that been like this with the injuries," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said Sunday in the Columbus Dispatch. "Every team has them. Some teams are worse than others. I've never seen something like this, though, no."

Goalie Curtis McElhinney, who missed a couple of games earlier this month with a lower-body injury, will make his third consecutive start since returning.

The Hurricanes didn't hold a morning skate but Justin Peters is expected to start. Defenseman Jay Harrison is out with an upper-body injury.

Here are the projected lineups for the Blue Jackets and Hurricanes, who are separated by two points in the Metropolitan Division standings.

BLUE JACKETS

Brandon Dubinsky - Artem Anisimov - Cam Atkinson

Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen - RJ Umberger

Blake Comeau - Derek MacKenzie - Jack Skille

Boone Jenner - Mark Letestu - Corey Tropp

Fedor Tyutin - Jack Johnson

Ryan Murray - James Wisniewski

Nikita Nikitin - David Savard

Curtis McElhinney

Mike McKenna

Scratched: Tim Erixon

Injured: Sergei Bobrovsky (groin), Dalton Prout (upper body), Marian Gaborik (collarbone) Nathan Horton (left shoulder), Jared Boll (left foot), Matt Calvert (shoulder)

HURRICANES

Jeff SkinnerEric StaalTuomo Ruutu

Nathan GerbeJordan StaalAlexander Semin

Jiri TlustyRiley NashPatrick Dwyer

Drayson BowmanManny MalhotraRadek Dvorak

Andrej SekeraJustin Faulk

Ron HainseyBrett Bellemore

Ryan MurphyTim Gleason

Justin Peters

Cam Ward

Scratched: Jay Harrison (illness), Mike Komisarek, Kevin Westgarth

It's hard to walk into that locker room and look those guys in the eye when they've played -- clearly, that was our best game we've played in the series -- and I thought we deserved a better fate tonight.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on his team's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 on Sunday