The Canes are down a forward after Viktor Stalberg was traded to the Ottawa Senators earlier today. Brock McGinn, who missed Sunday’s game with an upper body injury, was able to skate with the team this morning but post-practice reports indicate he may not be 100% for tonight’s game. If he’s not available, the Canes will skate seven defensemen instead.
Happy Birthday (sort of) to leap year-born Cam Ward, who turns either 33 or 8.25 today, depending on how one chooses to measure it. Ward will be making his 600th career NHL start in net tonight, which places him in the top 40 all-time and top five among active goaltenders in starts.
UPDATE 6:15 pm: Jeff Skinner has been ruled out for tonight’s game with an upper body injury. The Canes will dress seven defensemen in his absence.
Canes GM Ron Francis says Jeff Skinner returned to Raleigh today from Florida to be evaluated for an upper-body injury.— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) February 28, 2017
Hurricanes Projected Lineup
Sebastian Aho - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm
Brock McGinn - Jordan Staal - Phillip Di Giuseppe
Jeff Skinner - Teuvo Teravainen - Lee Stempniak
Joakim Nordstrom - Jay McClement - Derek Ryan
Jaccob Slavin - Justin Faulk
Noah Hanifin - Brett Pesce
Klas Dahlbeck - Ryan Murphy
Injuries and Scratches: Jeff Skinner (upper body)
The Panthers held a very quick and very optional morning skate; only a few players hit the ice and they were off in less than 10 minutes. In lieu of an on-ice practice, the team opted for a lengthy video review session.
Forward lines in the bottom six will be mixed up a bit. Denis Malgin, a healthy scratch in Sunday’s loss to the Senators, will draw in on offense in exchange for Shawn Thornton.
A familiar face will make the start in net; Roberto Luongo has faced the Canes 32 times in his NHL career, and is 14-14-3-1 with a 2.39 GAA and two shutouts.
Panthers Projected Lineup
Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Jaromir Jagr
Jussi Jokinen - Vincent Trocheck - Reilly Smith
Jonathan Marchessault -- Denis Malgin - Nick Bjugstad
Michael Sgarbossa -- Derek MacKenzie -- Colton Sceviour
Injuries and Scratches: Shawn Thornton (healthy), Jakub Kindl (healthy)