Struggling on PP, ‘Canes activate ‘game-breaker’ Skinner

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The Carolina Hurricanes activated forward Jeff Skinner from IR on Thursday, paving the way for him to play in tonight’s tilt against Detroit after an 11-game absence.

For the owners of the NHL’s 26th-ranked power play — a unit that’s clicking at a woeful 12.5 percent — getting Skinner back is a major boon.

“He’s a game-breaker,” ‘Canes head coach Kirk Muller told the Raleigh News & Observer. “A lot of our games have been one-goal games. That’s where he excelled early in the season.

“He’s capable of making that game-breaking play that can put you in the lead or tie a game. He has that different dimension we need right now as far as all these tight games, having a natural goal-scorer. And that’s what he is.”

Muller is in desperate need of someone to fix his club’s power play. Carolina has scored with the man advantage just twice in nine November games, going 2-for-28 overall. This includes a recent stretch where the group went 0-for-8 in back-to-back losses to the Blues and Bruins — against Boston, the ‘Canes had a 5-on-3 for 1:03 and managed just one shot on goal.

It’s simply not good enough, and Muller has a theory on why the group is struggling.

“We’ve got to get some guys who aren’t afraid to make plays,” Muller told the Raleigh News & Observer. “I think right now we’ve got some nervous guys who are not simplifying the power play and are just not able to execute.”

In other ‘Canes news, the club placed forward Alex Semin on IR with a concussion.

Related: Canes’ Semin out indefinitely with concussion