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Injury Bug Bites Again - Wild 3, Hurricanes 1

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Cam Ward and Jeff Skinner both injured as Canes fall in Minnesota

Cam Ward makes an early save before injury against Wild
Cam Ward makes an early save before injury against Wild
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Carolina Hurricanes fell behind 2-0 in the first period but battled back and made a tight game of it, before falling to the Minnesota Wild, 3-1 on Thursday night in Minnesota.

Cam Ward left the game with a lower body concern at 4:07 into the contest.  Just a short time later, the team sent out a press release saying the goaltender would miss the next 3-4 weeks.  Mike Murphy will be recalled from Charlotte to backup Justin Peters.

Peters went the rest of the way and made 19 saves on 21 shots faced.

Jeff Skinner, who leads the team in scoring, left later in the game with an upper body issue, (not concussion related).  He will be evaluated and is day-to-day.

The Wild scored a pair of goals midway through the first and it looked like things might get out of hand, but the Canes fought back and cut the lead in half at 6:01 into the second when Alexander Semin ripped in a powerplay goal to make it, 2-1.  Eric Staal picked up an assist on the play to extend his scoring streak.

The Canes could not light the lamp again after Semin's goal, even though Wild starting goalie Josh Harding also got injured.  Niklas Backstrom came in the replace Harding and did not allow any goals during a scoreless third period for the home team.

Carolina took two penalties in the third period which killed their comeback efforts, one by Eric Staal midway through the period, and another by Radek Dvorak with just 1:26 left.

Dany Heatley scored an empty netter to close things out.

The Hurricanes will travel right after the game and prepare for a contest with the red hot Avs Friday night.

Game Notes:

  • The Canes outshot the Wild in the second period, but were outshot 11-7 in the most important third.  They ended up with a 28-27 advantage for the game.  Nathan Gerbe and Ryan Murphy led the team with four each.
  • While he picked up an assist, Eric Staal had a rough 700th game as he only put one shot on goal, won a paltry 39% of his faceoffs, and finished (-1) as he was beaten down the ice before one Wild goal.
  • Murphy led the team with four blocked shots, one of them a goal-saving play when Peters was down and out after making a tough save on the other side of the net.  The rookie was also stung with one shot, but battled through the play and continued on, which may have reminded some fans of Glen Wesley.
  • Brett Bellemore led the club with seven hits.  The team was credited with 24 for the game.  He also had three blocked shots, right behind Murphy's four.
  • Check here for post game interviews: Canes PR