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At the Rink: Canadiens at Hurricanes

by Staff

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal was activated off injured reserve and will make his season debut Monday against the Montreal Canadiens.

Staal missed the first 35 games after sustaining a fractured fibula in his right leg during a preseason game.

"No matter how many games you've played there are going to be some nerves," Staal told the Raleigh News & Observer. "It's a fast league and I'm jumping back in."

Since getting traded to Carolina before the 2012-13 season, he has played primarily with his brother Eric Staal, the Hurricanes captain. And that's where he'll play Monday, centering the top line between Eric, who has 19 points in 30 games, and Nathan Gerbe.

"Hopefully we can get the big man going," Jordan told the Hurricanes website when asked about playing with Eric, who will skate in his 800th NHL game, becoming only the third player in franchise history to do so.

Forward Jiri Tlusty also returns after missing the past seven games with an upper-body injury. Between Tlusty, Staal and Alexander Semin, Carolina has been without a group of players it expected to help carry the offense this season for extended periods of time.

"You don't ever want to be sidelined and I'm excited to be back," Tlusty said, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. "I think Jordan is more excited than I am and it's going to be fun. We just have to go out there and do what we do best."

The Canadiens, who haven't played in a week, showed the same lines at their morning skate used in their game prior to the holiday break against the New York Islanders.

Here are the projected lineups:


Max Pacioretty - Alex Galchenyuk - Brendan Gallagher

Sven Andrighetto - Tomas Plekanec - Jiri Sekac

David Desharnais - Lars Eller - PA Parenteau

Brandon Prust - Manny Malhotra - Dale Weise

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin - Sergei Gonchar

Nathan Beaulieu - Tom Gilbert

Carey Price

Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Mike Weaver, Bryan Allen, Michael Bournival

Injured: None


Eric Staal - Jordan Staal - Nathan Gerbe

Jeff Skinner - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm

Chris Terry - Victor Rask - Jiri Tlusty

Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk

Tim Gleason - Michal Jordan

Ron Hainsey - Brett Bellemore

Cam Ward

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Tim Gleason, Zach Boychuk

Injured: John-Michael Liles (illness), Alexander Semin (upper body), Andrej Nestrasil (upper body)

Status report: Jordan Staal sat out one game in his first four seasons and played in 82 games five times out of eight seasons. Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said Liles was questionable after the defenseman did not skate because of flu symptoms. Carolina assigned forward Brendan Woods to Charlotte of the American Hockey League on Sunday to make room for Staal.

Who's hot: Price made 37 saves Tuesday in a 3-1 win against the Islanders. He is 5-1-0 in his past six starts with a 1.60 goals-against average and .974 save percentage, and hasn't allowed more than two goals since a Dec. 6 loss against the Dallas Stars. … Eric Staal has 20 goals and 37 points in 37 games against the Canadiens.

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