Phil Di Giuseppe

Getty

‘Canes put Staal on IR with concussion, no timetable for return

1 Comment

Things had been going Carolina’s way lately — the ‘Canes were 6-2-0 in their last eight, and rallied to beat the Panthers on Sunday night — but that all changed on Monday, as GM Ron Francis announced Jordan Staal had suffered a concussion.

Per the Raleigh News & Observer, there is no timetable for Staal’s return.

Staal suffered the concussion early in the first period of yesterday’s game, and didn’t return. It was a big hole to fill for the ‘Canes — and it will be, for the foreseeable future.

The 28-year-old 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.

Last year, Staal scored 20 goals for the first time since being acquired by the ‘Canes. He was off to a modest offensive start this year, with five goals and nine points through 21 contests.

The next few weeks could be crucial for the ‘Canes, as they adjust to life without No. 11 while trying to climb back into playoff positioning.

It’s expected that Teuvo Teravainen and/or Elias Lindholm will get minutes down the middle with Staal out, as could rookie Sebastian Aho. Whether or not they can fill all the holes remains to be seen — Staal featured prominently on the penalty kill, and mans the power play — but head coach Bill Peters doesn’t have a ton of options at his disposal.

Carolina did recall Phil Di Giuseppe from AHL Charlotte on Monday. He’s proven to be a fairly effective offensive producer in the past — in his rookie year, he scored seven goals and 17 points in 41 games.

‘Canes put Faulk on IR

Getty

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) The Carolina Hurricanes have placed All-Star defenseman Justin Faulk on the injured list with an upper-body injury.

General manager Ron Francis also said Friday that the team has assigned forward Phil Di Giuseppe to its AHL affiliate in Charlotte.

Faulk was hurt in the Hurricanes’ loss to New Jersey on Sunday, and his spot on the injured list is retroactive to Nov. 7. The two-time All-Star has three goals and three assists in 11 games.

Di Giuseppe has played in 11 of 13 games during his second NHL season. He had seven goals and 10 assists last year with the Hurricanes.

Carolina fell to 3-6-4 with last night’s 4-2 loss to the Ducks. In all six of the Hurricanes’ regulation losses, they’ve finished with more shots than their opponents.

The ‘Canes host Washington on Saturday. Faulk will not be eligible to play that game.

Related: The curious case of the Carolina Hurricanes

Fight Video: Niskanen left bloodied after dropping the gloves with Di Giuseppe

Two guys who don’t usually drop the gloves got into a fight in Friday’s preseason tilt between the Hurricanes and Capitals.

Phil Di Giuseppe was approached by Matt Niskanen, after the ‘Canes forward delivered a solid hit on Taylor Chorney.

“Part of my game is getting in on the forecheck and that’s what I was doing,” Di Giuseppe said, per the Charlotte Observer. “I just went to finish my check … and I guess I got him pretty good.”

As you can tell from the video above, Niskanen was left with a decent gash on his face (probably from his own visor), while Di Giuseppe said he came away with a cut on his finger.

“My face is still intact. No stitches,” joked the ‘Canes forward after the game.

Ekholm scores in OT, Predators beat Hurricanes 2-1

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Mattias Ekholm scored with 1:51 left in overtime to lift the Nashville Predators over the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Saturday night.

Paul Gaustad tied the game for Nashville with a short-handed goal in the second period. Ekholm assisted and Gaustad got his first goal of the season.

Victor Rask put Carolina ahead 8:58 into the first with his 11th goal.

Nashville’s Pekka Rinne had 27 saves and Carolina’s Eddie Lack stopped 19.

In overtime, Ekholm corralled a deflected pass from Filip Forsberg, skated in on Lack and beat the goalie top shelf.

Nashville captain and defenseman Shea Weber played in his 724th game for the franchise, passing Martin Erat for second on the club’s career list. David Legwand played in 956 games.

Carolina’s Phil Di Giuseppe left with an upper-body injury in the second period and did not return. He assisted on Rask’s first-period goal.

Nashville coach Peter Laviolette coached the Hurricanes to the 2006 Stanley Cup, while his assistant Kevin McCarthy was an assistant with the Hurricanes from 1999-2009. The only remaining Carolina players from the 2006 team are captain Eric Staal and goalie Cam Ward.

Jeff Skinner assisted on Rask’s goal for his 21st point this season.

NOTES: The Predators had won the teams’ only other meeting of the season 2-1 in Nashville on Oct. 8. … Carolina visits Edmonton on Monday night in the first of a two-game Western Canada trip. … Nashville hosts Winnipeg on Tuesday night before heading on a four-game road trip. … Carolina C Jay McClement missed the game with an illness after playing in 198 consecutive contests. D Michal Jordan was a healthy scratch for the Hurricanes. … The Predators’ healthy scratches were LW Austin Watson and D Anthony Bitetto and D Petter Granberg.