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Blues vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Nodl Possibly Out a Week, Pitkanen Could Play Wednesday

Monday, 03.19.2012 / 3:04 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Nodl Possibly Out a Week, Pitkanen Could Play Wednesday
The Carolina Hurricanes might be losing a forward for at least a week, but they could also gain a defenseman in the coming days.

Michael Smith
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Forward Andreas Nodl left Sunday night’s game in Winnipeg after being hit by Zach Bogosian just over halfway into the second period. Bogosian was given a five-minute major charging penalty and a game misconduct. Nodl did not return. He did not practice on Monday but was present for the team picture.

Asked if he had any further news about Nodl, head coach Kirk Muller said, “I actually don’t. We’re checking to see how he is.”

Nodl had to be helped off the ice and seemed dazed by the hit.

“There are symptoms [of a concussion],” Muller said. “We’ll go through the same procedure: get him in there and get him tested.

“Hopefully it’s short, and hopefully it’s not [a concussion].”

Despite the devastating nature of the hit and the fact that it was deemed illegal in-game via the penalties, Bogosian did not receive supplementary discipline from the National Hockey League. This marks the third time this season Bogosian has escaped suspension; the first time, he elbowed Cody Eakin of the Washington Capitals, and the second time he boarded Pierre Marc-Bouchard of the Minnesota Wild. In both cases, the League determined the players had made themselves vulnerable to the hits. That didn’t seem to be in the case Sunday night when Bogosian leapt off his feet into Nodl.

“It’s not our call as coaches to make the decisions, but we’ve got a guy who could possibly be out a week from it,” Muller said. “To me, I thought it was clear that he left his feet and clearly a charge. But, I guess they saw it differently.

“There are guidelines, and everyone is trying to follow them. It’s a quick game, and things happen quick,” Muller continued. “I guess it’s not the same type of reading I saw from the hit.”

While Nodl is likely to at least miss the team's three games this week, defenseman Joni Pitkanen could play as early as Wednesday.

Pitkanen has been out of the lineup since Dec. 6, missing 44 games with a concussion and then knee surgery. Recovered from the concussion for awhile now, Pitkanen has been working to regain the strength in his knee.

In practice on Monday, he participated in a set one-on-one drill with Jeff Skinner, where they took turns protecting the puck from one another. Pitkanen said it's a drill he’s worked on for the past few days, a good physical measuring stick for his progress.

Asked how soon he could return, a week was suggested, but Pitkanen responded with a smile, “Maybe sooner.”

Muller confirmed this timetable and said if Pitkanen is physically ready, he could play Wednesday. With Jaroslav Spacek out with a lower-body injury, Pitkanen’s return would signal Bobby Sanguinetti’s return to Charlotte.

Tuesday will be a day off for the Hurricanes before they take on the Florida Panthers on Wednesday at PNC Arena. The Canes have yet to beat the Panthers in four tries this season, but after winning three games in a row – including two come-from-behind victories on the road – the team’s confidence is running high.

“Those were gutsy wins,” Muller said. “We travel to all these cities, and everyone keeps talking about who’s going to make it and who’s not, and no one ever mentions Carolina. Our boys in there really take that to heart and believe that they have a shot still. I believe those games coming back showed the fire that they have.”



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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 42 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 47 9 19 -13 28
E. Lindholm 47 9 11 -11 20
J. Tlusty 40 12 7 -11 19
J. Skinner 42 10 9 -7 19
R. Nash 47 7 12 -4 19
N. Gerbe 43 5 13 -3 18
V. Rask 47 6 9 -10 15
A. Sekera 45 1 14 -6 15
C. Terry 34 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .918 2.30
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45