Carolina will have major lineup reinforcements tonight when it hosts Vancouver at PNC.
Jordan Staal, who’s missed the last seven games with a concussion, and Elias Lindholm — out since Dec. 1 with a lower-body injury — will both draw back in this evening, as the ‘Canes begin an important four-game homestand.
The returns will be huge.
Staal has a pretty big role in Carolina, and is the club’s top defensive center. He averages a healthy 18:29 TOI per game, and is one of the club’s best faceoff men, winning draws at a 60 percent clip.
Lindholm, the fifth overall pick in 2013, was off to a bit of a slow start with just seven points through 23 games, but is also a top-six forward coming off back-to-back 39-point campaigns.
The ‘Canes recently wrapped a three-game California trip, and fared reasonably well by securing three points. The highlight was a 3-1 win in Los Angeles last Thursday, in which journeyman Derek Ryan scored a pair of markers.
Based on this morning’s line rushes, Staal and Lindholm were together on the top unit alongside Joakim Nordstrom.