Canes’ Pitkanen injured in return from IR

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Whether the Carolina Hurricanes or Florida Panthers win Saturday night’s game, both teams experienced some serious losses.

The Hurricanes must be frustrated, as top defenseman Joni Pitkanen’s return from the IR amounted to six minutes of ice time. He’s out for the game with a lower-body injury that may or may not be related to the one that sidelined him for seven games, according to the Raleigh News & Observer’s Chip Alexander.

Don’t expect the Panthers to shed a tear for Carolina’s woes – and not just because the two teams are in the Southeast Division.

The Miami Herald’s George Richards reports that the following players left tonight’s contest and won’t return:

  • Dmitry Kulikov has an upper-body issue, with Richards guessing it might be wrist or hand-related.
  • Scottie Upshall suffered an upper-body injury.
  • Jack Skille’s problem is lower-body related.
  • As we mentioned before, it appears that Jose Theodore injured his knee.

So, again, it’s a tough night for both teams. If Carolina holds onto its 5-2 lead, the Panthers probably have the most reasons to grumble.