The Carolina Hurricanes return to the ice after a brief break early in the week to face the Detroit Red Wings for the final time this season. Although the Canes did not participate in a morning skate today, they did receive some positive news, as Jordan Staal has been activated from Injured Reserve. Staal missed the past five contests, but is slated to return to the lineup tonight, as the Canes prepare for three games in four days to close out their pre-Christmas schedule.
Petr Mrazek is expected to be back in net against his former squad. Mrazek led the Canes to a victory in Detroit on October 22nd. Since the Canes did not have a morning skate, the projected lines are a bit of a guess with Staal returning. Below is our best guess of the estimated combos (updated 5:30 pm based on information reported by the team):
Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
Calvin de Haan - Justin Faulk
Trevor van Riemsdyk - Dougie Hamilton
Injuries and Scratches: Clark Bishop (healthy), Haydn Fleury (concussion)
The Detroit Red Wings arrive in Raleigh having lost each of their last four contests. A rash of injuries has beset the Wings, as four key contributors (Danny DeKeyser, Mike Green, Darren Helm, and Anthony Mantha) have all been sidelined for extended periods within the last month. Additionally, Jimmy Howard is currently dealing with back concerns that will see him cede the net to Jonathan Bernier tonight. With those losses in manpower as well as on the ice recently, the Red Wings hopes of contending in the difficult Atlantic Division have all but been extinguished.
Below is the lineup that Jeff Blashill is expected to ice:
Gustav Nyquist - Dylan Larkin - Justin Abdelkader
Andreas Athanasiou - Frans Nielsen - Thomas Vanek
Tyler Bertuzzi - Luke Glendening - Michael Rasmussen
Christoffer Ehn - Jacob de la Rose - Martin Frk
Trevor Daley - Dennis Cholowski
Niklas Kronwall - Filip Hronek
Jonathan Ericsson - Nick Jensen