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Gameday: Canes vs. Stars

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes
Despite returning to the game and playing nearly 20 minutes the following night, Tim Gleason’s head injury will prevent him from playing tonight’s game against Dallas at the RBC Center.

Paul Branecky
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After being hit in the face by a shot from Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, Gleason returned to the game wearing a full shield and scored the game-tying goal while shorthanded. However, he did not feel well upon returning from the team’s four-game road trip and has not practiced with the team all week.

Coach Paul Maurice did not say for sure whether Gleason is dealing with concussion-like symptoms, but added that he is hopeful the defenseman can play Friday night at Florida.

”He came back and played pretty darn well, and I thought he was pretty good the next night,” said Maurice of Gleason’s performance over the weekend. “Then, the next day you have the day off and you start to have some symptoms you don’t like. I’ve seen other guys get absolutely knocked unconscious and then two days later have no symptoms, so these things are tough to predict.”

With Niclas Wallin also out with an upper-body injury and Joe Corvo still several weeks away from returning, the Hurricanes will play Brett Carson, Bryan Rodney and Jay Harrison, who were all recently recalled from Albany of the American Hockey League.

Despite the depletion on defense, Maurice said the Canes would rely heavily on those three players in addition to NHL regulars Andrew Alberts, Joni Pitkanen and Aaron Ward.

“We’ve played Carson and Harrison at the 20-minute mark, and I do believe they have to play,” said Maurice. “We can run (Pitkanen) at 30 minutes, we’ve done it before, but can you do it over and over again and can you do it three (times) in four nights? These other guys have to play. Everybody in that lineup has some experience, so it’s not like we’re pulling guys up for their first game.”

The 6-foot-4, 210 pound Carson, who has played nine NHL games over the last two seasons, had an eye-popping achievement in the Washington game. His eight blocked shots were the most in a single game for a Hurricanes player since Glen Wesley did so on April 2, 2000. Just seven other players have blocked eight or more shots this season.

“We expect a good game out of our defense and we don’t cut them a lot of room now just because they were in the American league at some point this season,” said Maurice.

As for the forwards, Sergei Samsonov is set to return and is expected to play with Matt Cullen and Jussi JokinenPatrick Dwyer, recalled yesterday along with Rodney, is expected to play with Brandon Sutter and Tom Kostopoulos. Projected lines can be found here.

Marty Turco gets the start tonight for Dallas opposite Cam Ward. From the weird injury department, defenseman Marc Fistric could also return after being hospitalized briefly with a stomach parasite over the weekend.

For today’s other news, be sure to check out this post about the Hurricanes possibly starting next season in Europe.

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