Blues visit Hurricanes in matchup of hot teams

View The Original Article Here
The Carolina Hurricanes are enjoying the best of times, but they might have to try to continue that with a revamped lineup.

A couple of injuries early in the week leave questions about how the Hurricanes will look when they take on the visiting St. Louis Blues on Friday night in Raleigh, N.C.

While the Hurricanes put together a recent special stretch, the Blues can claim to be on an even better run with 13 victories in their last 15 games.

Carolina defensemen Justin Faulk and Calvin de Haan ended up with upper-body injuries Tuesday night. Neither was on the ice for Thursday’s practice.

“Both felt better (Thursday),” coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We’re optimistic.”

De Haan’s ailment came during postgame work following the rough-and-tumble game with the Los Angeles Kings.

“A freak thing that happened, and obviously a bad time of year for that,” Brind’Amour said.

In the meantime, the Hurricanes have recalled defensemen Haydn Fleury and Jake Bean from Charlotte of the American Hockey League.

“It’s nice to have that kind of depth,” Brind’Amour said. “Guys who have put in time in the minors, we have a nice group down there. We feel pretty comfortable if we have to use them.”

Hurricanes’ forward Micheal Ferland also exited Tuesday night’s game, but his injury wasn’t deemed serious.

With some shuffling of lines and pairings, there’s a need for versatility, even when so many things appear to be going smoothly.

“It’s always next man up,” Brind’Amour said.

Carolina has won nine of its past 11 games, moving into playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

The Hurricanes went 10-3-0 in February, setting franchise records for wins and points (20) in the month. They reached 10 victories in any month for just the fifth time in franchise history.

The Blues exited February with a 12-1-1 record for the month after Tuesday night’s 2-0 home victory against the Nashville Predators.

“Right now, we’ve got a good team,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “We’re playing like a team. … We’ve been competing hard and playing hard. We’re playing our game night-in and night-out.”

Despite the good stretch, the Blues have gone four games in a row without posting more than two goals. In the game before that, the third goal came in overtime.

“We’re getting good looks,” Berube said. “You keep going at it and keep getting to the net, and they’ll go in.”

This could be a challenging couple of weeks for St. Louis. After Friday’s game, the Blues return for a Saturday night home game against the Dallas Stars — marking their lone home game for the first 11 days of March.

Not to mention the Hurricanes have been rolling as well.

“They’re winning a lot of games so it’s going to be a tough game,” Berube said.

The Blues played Tuesday without forwards Brayden Schenn and David Perron because of injuries; Alexander Steen was out because of illness.

“Guys fill in and do the job,” Berube said. “That’s being a good team.”

Since then, the Blues sent forward Sammy Blais back to the AHL’s San Antonio club.

–Field Level Media

Copyright © 2019 ESPN Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.