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Wild at Hurricanes preview

Granlund out for Minnesota with injury; Darling makes debut for Carolina

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

WILD (0-1-0) at HURRICANES (0-0-0)

7 p.m. ET; FSN-N, FS-CR, NHL.TV


The Game

The Minnesota Wild will be without forward Mikael Granlund, their leading scorer last season (69 points) when they play the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Saturday because of a lower-body injury. With no extra healthy forwards, defenseman Gustav Olofsson will dress and likely see some time up front.

Goaltender Alex Stalock will start for the Wild, who lost their season opener, 4-2 at the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday in a game started by Devan Dubnyk.

Scott Darling will make his debut for the Hurricanes. The former Chicago Blackhawks backup who was acquired in a trade April 28 is expected to take over the starting role from longtime Carolina goalie Cam Ward. 

The Hurricanes will open the season with co-captains Jordan Staal and Justin Faulk, who were named on Thursday. The captaincy had remained vacant since Eric Staal was traded was traded to the New York Rangers on January 28, 2016.


Players to watch

Wild center Eric Staal is Carolina's all-time leading scorer with 322 goals. His 28 goals with Minnesota last season were his highest since scoring 33 in 2010-11.

Hurricanes forward Justin Williams returns to Carolina, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2006. He scored 31 goals that season and 33 in 2006-07, the two highest goal totals of his career.

Williams signed a two-year, $9 million contract on July 1.


They said it

"It's a dent in our lineup, for sure. We've got (five days) off after this. There's no sense chasing the injury all year long. Get rid of it early in the year so he's healthy to go." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on holding Granlund out of the lineup until their next game against the Chicago Blackhawks on October 12 

"It's been three-plus years in the making to get to this point, so there's a lot of excitement over the start of the year. We're excited about the changes we've made. Now we get to see them take place in a real game." -- Hurricanes coach Bill Peters on beginning his fourth season behind the bench


Wild projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Eric Staal -- Charlie Coyle

Marcus Foligno -- Mikko Koivu -- Tyler Ennis

Jason Zucker -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Chris Stewart

Daniel Winnik -- Matt Cullen -- Gustav Olofsson

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Matt Dumba -- Jonas Brodin

Kyle Quincey -- Mike Reilly

Alex Stalock

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: none

Injured: Mikael Granlund (lower body), Zach Parise (undisclosed)


Hurricanes projected lineup

Elias Lindholm -- Jordan Staal -- Sebastian Aho

Teuvo Teravainen -- Victor Rask -- Justin Williams

Jeff Skinner -- Derek Ryan -- Janne Kuokkanen

Joakim Nordstrom -- Marcus Kruger -- Brock McGinn

Jaccob Slavin -- Justin Faulk

Noah Hanifin -- Brett Pesce

Haydn Fleury -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Scott Darling

Cam Ward

Scratched: Klas Dahlbeck, Josh Jooris, Martin Necas

Injured: Lee Stempniak (upper body)


Status report

Boudreau said Parise skated well on Friday and anticipates his return to the lineup against the Blackhawks on Thursday... Kuokkanen and Fleury will each make his NHL debut ... Jordan Staal will serve as captain at home during the first half of the season with Faulk serving as the captain on the road.


Stat pack

Chris Stewart had a goal and an assist against the Red Wings. ... Carolina is 0-4-2 in its past six season openers.

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