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Niederreiter, Trocheck return for Hurricanes in Game 5

Forward makes series debut against Lightning, center back after missing past two games

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / Staff Writer

Nino Niederreiter and Vincent Trocheck returned to the lineup for the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Second Round against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday (NBCSN, SN, TVAS).

Niederreiter practiced Monday for the first time since sustaining an upper-body injury at practice May 29 that kept him out of the first four games of the series. He was at left wing on the second line with Trocheck and right wing Martin Necas to begin Game 5.

"Obviously we miss him," Necas said of Niederreiter at practice Monday. "He's a big part of our team. We miss a few guys right now, but if he's going to come in, and it seems like he will, then it's a big help for us and I'm excited to play with him."

Niederreiter scored 20 goals in 56 games during the regular season, second on the Hurricanes behind forward Sebastian Aho (24 in 56 games). He's scored one goal in six games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Carolina trails 3-1 in the best-of-7 series.

Trocheck returned after he missed Games 3 and 4 with a lower-body injury sustained when he collided with teammate Warren Foegele late in the second period of a 2-1 loss in Game 2 on June 1. The center returned for the third period of that game but played one 16-second shift before leaving. 

Foegele is out for Game 5 because of an upper-body injury. He played in Game 4 on Saturday after he was injured when he was hit by Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak with 2:20 remaining in the second period of a 3-2 overtime win in Game 3 on Thursday.

Trocheck scored 43 points (17 goals, 26 assists) in 47 regular-season games, second on the Hurricanes to Aho (57 points), and has scored three points (two goals, one assist) in eight playoff games.

Foegele scored 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 53 regular-season games and has scored two points (one goal, one assist) in 10 playoff games.

Alex Nedeljkovic returned to the net for the Hurricanes in Game 5. He started the first two games of the series and was 0-2 with a 2.04 goals-against average and .911 save percentage. He started Carolina's first eight playoff games and is 4-4 with a 2.18 GAA, a .920 save percentage and one shutout.

Petr Mrazek played the past two games for the Hurricanes and was 1-1 with a 3.90 GAA and an .873 save percentage. He allowed six goals on 26 shots in a 6-4 loss in Game 4.

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