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At the Rink: Hurricanes at Jets

by Patrick Williams

WINNIPEG -- The reinforcements are beginning to arrive for the Carolina Hurricanes, who continue a five-game road trip Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre.

Left wing Jeff Skinner will make his season debut for the Hurricanes after sustaining a concussion in the final preseason game, Oct. 5, and play on a line with center Victor Rask and right wing Elias Lindholm.

"I hope that I can help the guys get it done," Skinner said. "For me coming back, I'm just going to try to keep it simple. I think that as a team we've been getting better. Just keep building on the good things in our game and hopefully I can add to that. It's a big game because it could be the start of a big road trip for us."

Defenseman Andrej Sekera (upper body) will return to the lineup after a one-game absence that was the result of a collision Oct. 14 against the Buffalo Sabres.

"It's just good to get some guys back," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "Instead of calling up a guy from Charlotte [American Hockey League], we're able to put in a guy that is a proven 30-goal scorer."

The Jets will make two lineup changes after four consecutive losses in which they have scored two goals. Defenseman Grant Clitsome, a healthy scratch for the Jets' first five games, will replace Adam Pardy. Clitsome, who had back surgery that ended his 2013-14 season, will play his first regular-season game since Dec. 17, 2013.

"I think that I'm going to take the same approach that I did during training camp coming back after a long break," Clitsome said. "I think it's just keeping it simple and making sure that I'm winning my battles and little stuff."

After struggling on the right side during the preseason, Clitsome will shift to his natural left side in a pairing with Paul Postma.

"When you first go back into the lineup and you want to make a good impression and play a strong game, it's easier for guys ... on their natural sides," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.

Matt Halischuk will replace Anthony Peluso on the fourth line and offer the Jets speed to match the fast-paced Hurricanes.

"We've got to be really careful about how much ice [we allow], which has been our challenge defensively, how much ice we're giving," Maurice said. "So it's going to be a really good test for us."

After playing Carolina, the Jets will face the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche to end their five-game homestand. After the homestand the Jets will play nine of their next 11 games on the road, stretching into mid-November.

"I would suggest that there should be quite a bit of a stronger focus, given our situation, but not so much that if we win [Tuesday] that for the next [game] we are casual," Maurice said.

Goalie Anton Khudobin will make his second consecutive start for the Hurricanes; Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal for the Jets.

Here are the projected lineups:


Jiri Tlusty - Riley Nash - Alexander Semin

Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm

Chris Terry - Jay McClement - Zach Boychuk

Brad Malone - Patrick Brown - Ryan Murphy

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk

Jay Harrison - Tim Gleason

Ron Hainsey - Brett Bellemore

Anton Khudobin

Cam Ward

Scratched: Nathan Gerbe

Injured: Patrick Dwyer (lower body), John-Michael Liles (lower body), Eric Staal (upper body), Jordan Staal (leg)


Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Dustin Byfuglien

Mathieu Perreault - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler

TJ Galiardi - Adam Lowry - Michael Frolik

Chris Thorburn - Jim Slater - Matt Halischuk

Tobias Enstrom - Zach Bogosian

Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba

Grant Clitsome - Paul Postma

Ondrej Pavelec

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Adam Pardy, Anthony Peluso

Injured: Evander Kane (knee)

Status report: Peters said that Liles (lower body) is a possibility to play later this week, and Eric Staal (upper body) could play when the Hurricanes end the road trip against the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 28. Liles and Staal participated in the morning skate ... Pardy will be a scratch for the first time this season.

Who's hot: Terry has two goals and an assist in his past two games for Carolina. ...The Hurricanes' 59.1 percent faceoff percentage leads the NHL.

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