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Hurricanes' Ward out vs. Capitals; MacIntyre recalled

by Kurt Dusterberg

CAPITALS (10-10-4) at HURRICANES (8-13-3)


RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes will be without goaltender Cam Ward when they host the Washington Capitals on Thursday.

Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said Ward has a lower-body injury, but does not believe it will keep Ward out of the lineup long-term.

"I don't think it's that serious to be honest with you," Peters said. "It's a day-to-day situation. We're going to take a day off tomorrow, we gave him yesterday, so that's three in a row and we think that's the right thing to do."

Anton Khudobin, who was in goal for a 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, will get the start. The Hurricanes recalled goaltender Drew MacIntyre from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League to serve as the backup.

Ward stopped 32 shots in a 2-1 win against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday but was held out of practice Wednesday. Ward has started 14 of the past 17 games. He took the ice Thursday morning ahead of Carolina's morning skate.

"He tried it real quick," Peters said. "He's been down that road before and we didn't want to push it."

Lower-body injuries were part of the reason Ward played 30 games last season.

The Hurricanes also will be without defenseman Andrej Sekera, whose blocked shot against Predators forward James Neal in the final seconds helped preserve the win.

"He's real close but not 100 percent," Peters said. "Not a lot of grip strength, some different things there. So again I think he will benefit from today and tomorrow [off]. And hopefully we will have him for Sunday and Monday."

Washington coach Barry Trotz said he expects to make changes to his third and fourth lines Thursday but did not reveal what they might be. He did say that he would like to get forwards Michael Latta and Liam O'Brien into the lineup.

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson

Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Troy Brouwer

Brooks Laich - Eric Fehr - Joel Ward

Jason Chimera - Andre Burakovsky - Jay Beagle

Brooks Orpik - John Carlson

Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen

Nate Schmidt - Jack Hillen

Braden Holtby

Justin Peters

Scratched: Michael Latta, Liam O'Brien

Injured: Aaron Volpatti (upper body), Mike Green (upper body), Dmitry Orlov (wrist), John Erskine (neck surgery)


Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Elias Lindholm

Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Alexander Semin

Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Andrej Nestrasil

Zach Boychuk - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer

Tim Gleason - Justin Faulk

John-Michael Liles - Jay Harrison

Ron Hainsey - Michal Jordan

Anton Khudobin

Drew MacIntyre

Scratched: Brad Malone

Injured: Cam Ward (lower body), Andrej Sekera (upper body), Jordan Staal (broken leg), Brett Bellemore (lower body)

Status report: Green has missed four games with an upper-body injury. He took part in the morning skate but will not dress against Carolina. "The trainers are holding him back," Trotz said. "Today was just a feel-out day. Tomorrow he probably start pounding pucks."

Who's hot: Backstrom has assists in six straight games; he has nine points during the stretch. ... Carlson has two goals and six points in his past three games. ... Rask has four points in the past three games, including the game-winning goal against the Predators.

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