RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes will be without captain Eric Staal on Sunday night against the Nashville Predators, and perhaps for five or six days, according to Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller.
Staal, who is missing just his second game since the start of the 2010-11 season, left the game Saturday night against the New York Islanders in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return. The Carolina captain might have initially sustained the injury Thursday night against the Washington Capitals.
The Hurricanes have recalled forward Aaron Palushaj from the Charlotte Checkers to fill Staal's spot in the lineup, although Palushaj will play on the wing.
Without Staal and injured center Riley Nash, the Hurricanes will piece together their lineup down the middle. Muller said he is likely to rely on Tuomo Ruutu and Jeff Skinner, who both have played center for Carolina. Over the past three games, the Hurricanes have often used three centers and four sets of wingers.
"We're going to play around as the game goes, kind of trial and error over the course of the game," Muller said. "It might be time management, chemistry, whether the faceoff is in the offensive zone or defensive zone. I guess really just a read of the game."