Defenseman Mike Green played his first game Saturday night since undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia Jan. 17. By itself, the injury didn't knock him out of the lineup, but he could tell he wasn't the same player.
"For the longest time before the surgery, even though I wasn't sore, I didn't have my skating stride," Green said. "I couldn't skate as well as I used to."
He said he could feel the improvement immediately after the surgery. Green played 14:14 in a 2-1 loss Saturday to Tampa Bay. Now he wants more ice time.
"Fourteen minutes felt like four minutes for me," he said. "I told (coach Dale Hunter) I want to play more, that I feel good, so we'll see."
With Green back in the lineup, Hunter said he will consider dressing seven defenseman against Carolina.
Here are the projected lineups for tonight's game:
Alexander Ovechkin – Mathieu Perreault - Troy Brouwer
Matt Hendricks - Brooks Laich – Mike Knuble
Jason Chimera – Marcus Johansson – Alexander Semin
Jay Beagle – Jeff Halpern – Joel Ward
Karl Alzner – John Carlson
Jeff Schultz – Denis Wideman
Roman Hamrlik – Mike Green
Justin Peters will get the start in goal for the Hurricanes, after Cam Ward tweaked a lower-body injury Saturday night and had to leave the game against the New York Islanders. Mike Murphy, who appeared in his first two NHL games in December, was called up from Charlotte to serve as the backup. Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller described Ward's status as day-to-day.
Jiri Tlusty – Eric Staal – Jerome Samson
Drayson Bowman – Jeff Skinner – Jussi Jokinen
Andres Nodl – Brandon Sutter – Patrick Dwyer
Anthony Stewart – Tim Brent – Derek Joslin
Tim Gleason – Bryan Allen
Jay Harrison – Justin Faulk
Jaroslav Spacek – Jamie McBain