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Hurricanes' Eric Staal game-time decision vs. Devils

by Kurt Dusterberg

DEVILS (10-13-4) at HURRICANES (8-15-3)


RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes lineup will be in flux until game time as they prepare for the New Jersey Devils.

Center Eric Staal, who was hit by a shot Sunday night with 1:43 remaining in a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, was on crutches after the game with ice wrapped around his foot. He took the morning skate Monday but was tentative, skating slowly and pivoting carefully.

"He tried but he came off a little sore," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "We will make a decision at 7 p.m. and we'll warm up an extra forward."

Forward Alexander Semin, who did not skate Monday morning, has an upper-body injury and will likely miss the game. Goaltender Cam Ward, who played Sunday, did not participate in the optional skate and will start for Carolina.

Devils forward Mike Cammalleri, who left their game Saturday against the Washington Capitals, has a muscle injury and did not make the trip. Forward Patrik Elias left the game Saturday with a groin injury and is out, along with forward Travis Zajac (lower body/illness) and defenseman Adam Larsson (flu).

Forward Martin Havlat, who has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury, will return Monday.

When forward Jaromir Jagr takes the ice, he will become the 15th player in NHL history to appear in 1,500 games.

"It's a big number," Jagr said, knocking on a cement wall before tapping his wood-framed locker. "You have to be very lucky with injuries. There were a lot of big guys and a lot of big hits over my hockey career. I always found a way to somehow survive. You have to be lucky, and be protected by a higher power somehow, I would say."

The milestone has left an impression on New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer.

"It's an incredible number, and when you think he took (three) years off, the number could be so much bigger," said DeBoer, referring to Jagr's three-year stint in the Kontinental Hockey League from 2008 to 2011. "It's an amazing accomplishment. I enjoy every minute being around him on a daily basis."

Here are the projected lineups:


Dainius Zubrus - Scott Gomez - Jaromir Jagr

Tuomo Ruutu - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder

Martin Havlat - Jacob Josefson - Mike Sislo

Jordin Tootoo - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Damon Severson

Jon Merrill - Marek Zidlicky

Eric Gelinas - Peter Harrold

Cory Schneider

Scott Clemmensen

Scratched: Seth Helgeson

Injured: Mike Cammalleri (lower body), Adam Larsson (flu), Travis Zajac (lower body), Bryce Salvador (lower body), Ryane Clowe (head), Patrik Elias (groin)


Jeff Skinner - Eric Staal - Elias Lindholm

Jiri Tlusty - Riley Nash - Andrej Nestrasil

Nathan Gerbe - Victor Rask - Chris Terry

Zach Boychuk - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk

Jay Harrison - John-Michael Liles

Ron Hainsey - Michal Jordan

Cam Ward

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Tim Gleason, Brad Malone

Injured: Jordan Staal (broken leg) Brett Bellemore (lower body), Alexander Semin (upper body).

Status report: Harrold's return to the Devils lineup will bump Helgeson. "I didn't think Helgeson had his best game last game. I thought he dropped off a little," DeBoer said. "Harrold played exceptionally well when he was in."

Who's hot: Ryder has three assists in his past three games. Zubrus earned an assist in each of the past two games.

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