NEW YORK -- The Carolina Hurricanes will wrap up a stretch of three preseason games in four days when they visit the New York Islanders on Wednesday.
They’ll do so down a forward in Jordan Staal who, in a back-to-back exhibition situation likely wouldn’t have played anyway, but now is out for an undetermined amount of time after suffering a broken bone in his lower right leg during the third period of Tuesday’s game in Buffalo.
“It’s down low in the ankle area,” head coach Bill Peters said. “It sounds like he’ll come back with us to get x-rays and an MRI done so we’ll have more accurate information.”
Peters mentioned before the season that he wanted to give Elias Lindholm a look at center, and now is as good a time as any. He will center Jeff Skinner and Jiri Tlusty on the team’s first line tonight.
Victor Rask, who has drawn praise for his recent play, draws back into the lineup tonight centering Nathan Gerbe and Zach Boychuk.
“It opens up huge opportunities for people,” Peters said of how the team could fill the hole left by Staal. “We don’t have a guy we can plug in to replace what he does at 6’4”, 230. But we have guys who can do it by committee. We haven’t had enough time to wrap our head around it, to be honest with you, without knowing how long he’ll be gone for, but we’ll come up with a plan that allows us to have success.”
The team will ice a six-pack of defensemen tonight that is not short on NHL experience. Andrej Sekera and Justin Faulk have been reunited as a pair, and Jay Harrison, Ryan Murphy, Ron Hainsey and Brett Bellemore filling out the remaining duos.
Drew MacIntyre will get the start in net with Anton Khudobin serving as the back-up. Khudobin started last night in Buffalo, stopping all nine shots he faced. MacIntyre surrendered two goals on 12 shots.
CarolinaHurricanes.com will again be rinkside at Nassau Coliseum tonight to bring you live in-game updates. You can listen to the game on 99.9 FM The Fan and follow along on Twitter with these accounts: @NHLCanes, @Canes_Gameday and @MSmithCanes.