After weeks of slow progress, it appears the Hurricanes may finally be getting a few players back from injury.
Coach Paul Maurice said at Sunday’s practice that both Chad LaRose
and Sergei Samsonov have a chance to play against the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday at the RBC Center. At least one of them will certainly play, as the team reassigned forward Zach Boychuk
to Albany and would be one player short otherwise.
”They both got through practice well today,” said Maurice. “We’ll see how they feel tomorrow morning and make a decision about whether we feel comfortable with both of them back in on the same night if they’re at that point.”
Samsonov, who has missed seven games with an upper-body injury, was thought to be the closer of the two as he was not officially ruled out of Saturday’s game until the morning skate. However, the day-to-day nature of his concern (even prior to exiting the lineup, he would often sit out from off-day practices) makes his participation no sure thing.
”We’ve been at this point with Sammy once before earlier in the week where he felt good coming off the ice and had a rough night, but he’s worked hard the last two or three days so he’s fairly close,” said Maurice.
Sunday’s practice offered little additional insight, as LaRose and Samsonov rotated evenly on the fourth-line left wing spot vacated by Boychuk. All other lines remained the same
Unlike Samsonov, who has been scratched from the lineup, LaRose would need to be activated from injured reserve prior to Monday’s game. Look for a potential announcement on that along with a possible reassignment if he is able to play for the first time since December 9 at New Jersey. Maurice said no decision has been made on which player would return to Albany if that were to occur, adding that Drayson Bowman
“is playing until we tell him different.”
Additionally, Maurice kept his goaltending plans close to the chest, offering little more than a “we’ll see” in regards to potentially giving backup Manny Legace his first start since December 12 at Ottawa.