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Muller: Hurricanes must step up in absence of Skinner

by Kurt Dusterberg

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The injuries are mounting for the Carolina Hurricanes, including a concussion to forward Jeff Skinner that will sideline the third-year player indefinitely.

For Skinner, this marks the second concussion of his career. He was sidelined for more than a month after a December 2011 hit by the Edmonton Oilers' Andy Sutton. Skinner's loss will be felt immediately; he had 14 points in his first 13 games.

"[Skinner] is a big part of the team this year," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "You see the big timely goals he was getting. We've got to adapt. We've got some guys that -- bottom line -- have to step up and contribute and help the hockey club win."

Thursday night's game against the Winnipeg Jets will mark the NHL debut of defenseman Ryan Murphy, the Hurricanes' first-round selection (No. 12) in the 2011 NHL Draft. Murphy was recalled on an emergency basis from the Kitchener Rangers to replace Jamie McBain. Murphy has eight goals and 39 points in 46 games for his Ontario Hockey League team.

"I called my friends and family and headed on a plane out here," said Murphy, who got word of his call-up as he was headed onto the ice to practice with Kitchener on Wednesday. "I'm pretty excited. I have nothing to lose. It's an emergency basis, obviously. So I'll come up here and soak it all in. At the end of the day, I'll be back in Kitchener and I'll go back with a couple games under my belt."

Muller said McBain is expected to miss 1-2 weeks with an upper-body injury. The Hurricanes' blue line also is missing veterans Tim Gleason and Joni Pitkanen.

Center Tim Brent was placed on injured reserve Thursday.

Here are the projected lineups for Thursday night's game:


Andrew Ladd - Bryan LittleBlake Wheeler

Evander KaneAlexander BurmistrovNik Antropov

Eric TangradiOlli JokinenKyle Wellwood

James WrightJim SlaterChris Thorburn

Grant ClitsomeDustin Byfuglien

Ron HainseyZach Bogosian

Mark StuartPaul Postma

Ondrej Pavelec

Edward Pasquale

Injuries: Tobias Enstrom, Antti Miettinen, Al Montoya, Zach Redmond

Scratches: Anthony Peluso


Jiri TlustyEric StaalAlexander Semin

Drayson BowmanJordan StaalPatrick Dwyer

Andreas NodlJussi JokinenTim Wallace

Chad LaRoseRiley NashKevin Westgarth

Jay HarrisonRyan Murphy

Justin FaulkJoe Corvo

Michal JordanBobby Sanguinetti

Cam Ward

Dan Ellis

Injured: Jeff Skinner, Tim Brent, Tim Gleason, Joni Pitkanen, Tuomo Ruutu

Scratch: Jeremy Welsh

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