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Gameday: LaRose Back After Concussion

Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 1:00 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: LaRose Back After Concussion
The Carolina Hurricanes’ morning skate was noticeably more rambunctious on Tuesday, as the boisterous tones of forward Chad LaRose echoed through the rink.

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After getting the green-light following a full-contact practice with the team on Monday, LaRose will return to the lineup tonight. He’s missed the team’s last 10 games with a concussion.

“I’m very excited to be back with my teammates,” he said. “Just coming back home and having a home game here against the Jets is a big night for me.

“These are my brothers here, so it’s good to be back on the ice with them, chatting it up and having some laughs.”

In his last game played on March 2 against Florida, LaRose took a number of big hits, at times getting to his feet a bit woozy. Though he logged 14:04 of ice time, doctors held him out of the last five minutes of the game for testing.

He didn’t travel or practice with the team for just over two weeks following that game, a torturous time for a notoriously energetic player.

“[It was] very tough. I always want to be out there whether it’s one game or whatever,” he said. “You always want to be out there with your teammates. It’s hard to watch, especially when you are in a bit of a slide. It hurts not to be able to help or do something out there.”

Concussions are unfortunately unique in that symptoms can be hard to diagnose and cases are so variable. What Jeff Skinner has gone through twice in his NHL career – both of which were distinct occurrences – isn’t exactly the same as what LaRose experienced. There, of course, were times when he felt ready but just quite wasn’t.

“Yeah, of course. I always want to play and rush back,” he said. “The doctors and trainers have done an excellent job in keeping me ready and making sure I’m held back until I’m prepared.”

Looking to right the ship after a five-game winless streak, the Hurricanes will certainly welcome back any healthy body. LaRose will skate on the second line with Skinner and Jordan Staal, and based on scenarios in practice, he should see some time on the second power play unit, as well.

“They’ve been playing well. When they came in here, they beat us,” LaRose said, referring to the team’s 4-3 loss to Winnipeg on Feb. 21. “We’ve got to play our style and worry about ourselves, and the game will take care of itself.”

Following a four-day gap between games that featured two off days, the Hurricanes should be well-rested in advance of this first of two meetings with Winnipeg this week. With three games in hand, the Canes trail the Jets by four points in the standings.

“I think they all know the importance of tonight’s game and this week,” head coach Kirk Muller said. “We’ve just got to get back to that part of our game where we’re hungry and more aggressive.”

With both Cam Ward (knee) and Dan Ellis (leg) on injured reserve, the Hurricanes will tap Justin Peters as their starting goaltender tonight. John Muse, who backstopped the Florida Everblades to a Kelly Cup Title in the 2011-12 season, was recalled from Charlotte on Monday, his first NHL recall.



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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 54 40 10 4 178 124 84
2 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 NJD 57 29 21 7 125 124 65
7 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
8 NYI 54 29 19 6 153 137 64
9 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
10 CAR 56 25 21 10 137 146 60
11 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
14 BUF 57 23 28 6 135 156 52
15 CBJ 57 23 28 6 144 175 52
16 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
V. Rask 54 14 19 2 33
J. Staal 56 12 21 8 33
J. Skinner 56 19 13 -1 32
K. Versteeg 55 11 21 1 32
E. Staal 56 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 56 8 17 -9 25
A. Nestrasil 49 9 12 1 21
J. Nordstrom 45 5 11 2 16
R. Hainsey 56 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 11 7 .909 2.35
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74