According to coach Paul Maurice, Eric Staal
was feeling good as of Friday afternoon and has a chance to play tomorrow night against the Phoenix Coyotes.
“It’s a muscular injury, and we’re hopeful that it’s very, very short-term,” said Maurice just before the team boarded a plane to Arizona. “You don’t want to test it any more than you have to. I would say now that there’s a good chance.”
Staal left the game against the San Jose Sharks prior to the start of the third period with a lower body injury and did not return. He has only missed one game in his entire career due a torso injury sustained in his rookie season, and his 307 consecutive games-played streak is the second-longest in franchise history.
Although he sounded confident enough, Maurice warned that Staal’s condition could change in the interim and that the team wouldn’t know for sure until he is tested on Saturday morning.
“The interesting part that people all know well is that when you get on an airplane things change,” he said “Hopefully he can get off the plane and feel as good as he does right now and then we’ll be optimistic for tomorrow.”
Of the Canes’ numerous injuries at the moment, Maurice was only able to provide an update on Niclas Wallin, who seems likely to play against the Coyotes.
“If Nic gets through practice tomorrow we’ll consider putting him in tomorrow night, and we’re expecting that he will,” he said.