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Staal, Pitkanen Miss Tuesday Practice

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes
A couple of big names were absent for Tuesday’s practice, as Joni Pitkanen and Eric Staal did not take the ice with the rest of the team.

Paul Branecky
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Pitkanen, who continues to deal with soreness in his surgically repaired knee, wasn’t much of a surprise, although his absence today has ruled him out of tomorrow’s game against the Penguins.

”He’s still in some pain,” said Coach Paul Maurice. “We’re going to have to wait until he feels better. He’s skating on his own, but he hasn’t come in yet and felt a marked improvement. We’ll wait until that happens.”

Staal was a bit more eyebrow-raising, although he did leave the ice early at Monday’s skate.

“We just want to make sure feels 100 percent,” said Maurice. “He plays so much for us. He was a little tight in practice yesterday, so we figure another day and he’ll be ready to go. We expect him to play tomorrow.”

Whatever Staal is dealing with now, it was always a safe bet that he would be able to go tomorrow. He’s played through worse, with one only needing to look as far as last week’s game in Boston for evidence of that.

Besides those two, there were no other unexpected absences from practice. Jussi Jokinen was back today after sitting out the previous session with a minor illness.

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