Eddie Lack, Stanislav Galiev

Goalie nods: With Ward (concussion) on IR, Lack assumes No. 1 duties in Carolina

It’s Eddie Lack time for the ‘Canes.

Lack, who’s been Cam Ward‘s understudy for most of this season — Ward’s started 30 times, Lack 15 — will now transition into the starter’s role, beginning tonight when Carolina takes on the Leafs in Toronto.

Ward was placed on IR yesterday with a concussion, which resulted in 21-year-old Czech netminder Daniel Altshuller being recalled from AHL Charlotte.

Altshuller is relatively inexperienced, in the midst of his first American League campaign after spending time with ECHL Florida.

Carolina’s third-round pick in 2012, Altshuller has played well for the Checkers this season, going 9-1-1 with a 1.71 GAA, a .941 save percentage and one shutout in 11 games.

But he likely won’t challenge Lack for minutes.

As such, this marks a real opportunity for the Swedish ‘tender to take hold of the No. 1 job, as Ward’s a pending UFA with no guarantee of returning next season. Lack, who signed a two-year extension with Carolina right before the start of the season, hasn’t been great this year — 8-9-1, 2.97 GAA, .891 save percentage — but has gone 5-2-2 in his last nine starts.

For Toronto, James Reimer gets the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Jacob Markstrom gives the in-form Ryan Miller a rest when the Canucks take on the Bruins in Boston. Markstrom will likely be up against Tuukka Rask.

Craig Anderson versus Cory Schneider as the Sens go up against the Devils at Prudential.

— Both the Flyers and Penguins will roll with their No. 1s in the latest installment of the Battle of Pennsylvania: Steve Mason versus Marc-Andre Fleury.

Karri Ramo goes back in for the Flames tonight, after Bob Hartley went with Jonas Hiller for a brief stretch. Ramo will be up against Sergei Bobrovsky for Columbus.

— Stanley Cup Final rematch between the ‘Hawks and Bolts tonight, and each team will be going with the guys that were in goal for last June’s decisive Game 6: Corey Crawford, and Ben Bishop.

— It’s Pekka Rinne up against Connor Hellebuyck as the Preds visit Winnipeg.

— After getting a rest the other night in favor of Anders Nilsson, Cam Talbot returns to the Edmonton net. Looks like Antti Niemi will go for Dallas.

— San Jose will look to rebound from a shootout loss to Ottawa, and will do so with Martin Jones in goal. No confirmation from Arizona yet, but it looks like the Coyotes will stick with Louis Domingue.

Devan Dubnyk gets the night off after playing on Wednesday against the Ducks, so Darcy Kuemper starts in L.A. He’ll be up against Jonathan Quick.

‘Canes put Ward on IR with concussion

Cam Ward
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Significant shakeup in goal in Carolina — the club has placed veteran Cam Ward on injured reserve with a concussion, and recalled Daniel Altshuller from AHL Charlotte.

How Ward suffered his concussion is unclear at the moment. In his last outing, a 3-2 OT loss to Vancouver, he stopped 19 of 22 shots and played the entire game — though it’s worth noting that, in the game followin, Eddie Lack was left in for all five goals in a 5-0 drubbing against Pittsburgh.

Ward, 31, has had an erratic year, going 14-11-5 with a 2.42 GAA and .905 save percentage. That said, he was playing some of his best hockey at the time of his injury — in five games in January, he’d stopped 124 of 134 shots for a .925 save percentage.

Looking ahead, it sure seems as though Lack will carry the load moving forward. Altshuller is only 21, and this year marks his first in the American League after spending time with ECHL Florida.

Carolina’s third-round pick in 2012, Altshuller has played well for the Checkers this season, going 9-1-1 with a 1.71 GAA, a .941 save percentage and one shutout in 11 games.

Looking even further ahead, it’ll be interesting to see how this injury affects Ward’s status within the organization. A pending UFA, there hasn’t been much movement on a new contract and he could be headed to market this summer.

Promising ‘Canes rookie Di Giuseppe (concussion) out indefinitely

NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 29: Phil Di Giuseppe #34 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on December 29, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Hurricanes 3-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

One of the bright spots in Carolina this year has been the emergence of its rookies, led by the likes of Noah Hanifin, Brett Pesce, Jacob Slavin, Brock McGinn and Phillip Di Giuseppe.

But now, that bright spot’s been dulled a bit.

Di Guiseppe has been diagnosed with a concussion and will be out indefinitely, per the Raleigh News & Observer. Injured Saturday night against the Predators, Di Guiseppe — the 38th overall pick at the ’12 draft — could be out of action for a while, which is a disappointment after he showed some real offensive prowess in his first-ever stint with the ‘Canes.

Recalled from AHL Charlotte early last month, Di Guiseppe made his NHL debut on Dec. 5 and proceeded to score eight points through his first 14 games at the big-league level, averaging over 12 minutes per night.

A former University of Michigan standout, Di Guiseppe had been skating on a line with Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner.

Goalie nods: Fleury starts for Pens after missing eight games with a concussion

Marc-Andre Fleury, Sidney Crosby
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The Pittsburgh Penguins will get Marc-Andre Fleury back in their lineup for Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders.

Fleury missed eight games because of a concussion, but the Pens activated him off IR early today.

“He’s a big part of the team,” head coach Mike Sullivan said, per the team’s website. “He’s an elite goaltender. His body of work here speaks for itself and how good he is. I know how much his teammates respect him and how much they like him and they play hard for him.”

Pittsburgh went 3-4-1 without Fleury, and as you can imagine, his teammates are glad that he’s back.

“It’ll be great,” Sidney Crosby said. “(Matt Murray and Jeff Zatkoff) did a really good job, but Fleury is coming back tonight. We’re happy to have him back and glad that he’s feeling better.”

The 31-year-old has a 20-9-5 record against the Islanders in his career.

Thomas Greiss will be between the pipes for New York.

Elsewhere…

–Louis Domingue will start for the Coyotes in Edmonton. The Oilers have yet to name a starter, but expect Cam Talbot to be the guy. He made 34 saves in a 1-0 loss to Anaheim on Thursday night.

–Look for Michal Neuvirth and Jonathan Quick to go head-to-head when the Flyers and Kings meet in Los Angeles, but neither team has confirmed their starter just yet.

Braden Holtby will start for Washington. He hasn’t lost a game in regulation since Nov. 10. Curtis McElhinney will get the nod for the Blue Jackets.

Pekka Rinne should be between the pipes for Nashville. The ‘Canes will turn to backup Eddie Lack.

Antti Niemi is the likely starter for Dallas on Saturday night. The Devils will counter with Cory Schneider, who shut out the Senators on Wednesday night.

Henrik Lundqvist should be between the pipes for the Rangers when they take on Florida. Roberto Luongo will make his first start of 2016.

Devan Dubnyk, who’s allowed two goals in his last two games, will start for Minnesota. Andrei Vasilevskiy will start for the Lightning.

–Expect Jake Allen to be in goal for St. Louis. He won three of his last four starts in 2015. Jonathan Bernier is the confirmed starter for the Maple Leafs.

–Don’t be surprised if Karri Ramo makes his ninth consecutive start for Calgary. Semyon Varlamov will be in goal for the Avalanche.

Connor Hellebuyck will start for the Winnipeg Jets. Martin Jones, who has four wins in his last six games, starts for San Jose.

Pens activate Fleury (concussion) from injured reserve

Pittsburgh Penguins v New Jersey Devils

After missing eight games with a concussion, Marc-Andre Fleury has been activated off injured reserve.

The Penguins went 3-4-1 during Fleury’s absence.

The 31-year-old had a 13-10-2 record with a 2.29 goals-against-average and a .925 save percentage before suffering the injury.

In a corresponding move, the Pens assigned goalie Matt Murray to the AHL.

The 21-year-old got his first taste of NHL action while Fleury was out and he didn’t look overwhelmed.

Murray had a 2-1-1 record with a 1.72 goals-against-average and a .938 save percentage in four games with Pittsburgh. He didn’t allow more than two goals in any of his appearances.

The Penguins are three points behind New Jersey and Detroit for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.