Teuvo Teravainen, Jaccob Slavin, Warren Foegele and Jordan Martinook are in the Carolina Hurricanes lineup against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSCH, FS-CR, NHL.TV).
Each was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol Jan 19, when the Hurricanes also shut down their practice facility. Carolina, which had four games postponed, resumed practice Jan. 25. Forwards Teravainen, Foegele and Martinook came off the protocol list Jan. 29, and Slavin, a defenseman, was removed from it the next day.
"We talked about when we had to pause it down, and these guys haven't had a real practice. That's the other unfortunate thing. We couldn't really practice them together, so that's a big issue," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "So, timing, conditioning, all that stuff is always a big issue when you've been out this long."
Teravainen, who had two assists in three games this season, said he expected to feel a bit rusty.
"We'll see how the game feels," he said. "It's going to be a little tough, first game in a while, so I'll just try to get my legs moving again."
Slavin averaged a Carolina-high 22:39 in ice time in three games.
"First, I feel fine," Slavin said. "I'll just try to hop right back into it. I think I've prepared well with the guys who have been out, just the skates we've been doing. For the guys jumping back in, we have to make sure the effort's there. The rest will fall into place."
Forward Jordan Staal, who also was in COVID-19 protocol, returned to the lineup when the Hurricanes defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 on Jan. 28, Carolina's first game since Jan. 18. The Hurricanes (5-1-0) won three straight games since resuming their schedule.
"It speaks to the culture we have here, also to the depth we have as well," Slavin said. "Guys who stepped in played were awesome. They played great hockey games. It's different watching from the stands for multiple games. It's part of it, what we have to go through. I was super proud to watch the guys compete."
Goalie James Reimer started for the Hurricanes. Brind'Amour didn't provide an update on goalie Petr Mrazek, who sustained an upper-body injury 2:47 into a 4-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
"He's looking at two different options," Brind'Amour said of Mrazek. "I don't know where that is as of right now."