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Hurricanes' Staal back after 10-game absence

by John McGourty /
Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal has been activated from injured reserve and will play Wednesday night against the Ducks in Anaheim, the second game of Carolina's two-game road trip, Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford announced today.

Staal, 25, missed the last 10 games with an upper-body injury suffered during a 5-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 1. The Hurricanes went 3-5-2 without Staal, and were outscored 32-23 in that span.

The Hurricanes enter Wednesday's game last in the Eastern Conference with 15 points.

A 40-goal scorer last season, Staal has just 3 goals and 2 assists in 13 games. The injury ended his streak of playing in 349 consecutive games, third-longest among active players and second-longest in team history.

The Hurricanes hope Staal's return can launch a midseason rally similar to the one they had last season. Carolina was 12-11-2 on Dec. 1, 2008 before going 33-19-5 the rest of the season to finish second in the Southeast Division, then advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

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