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Gameday: LaRose Back After Concussion

Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 1:00 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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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STANDINGS

[SSS_STANDINGS.METROPOLITAN_DIVISION_LABEL]
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
2 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
3 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
4 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
5 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
6 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
7 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
8 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 79 21 40 -13 61
J. Skinner 71 33 21 -14 54
A. Sekera 74 11 33 4 44
A. Semin 65 22 20 1 42
J. Staal 82 15 25 2 40
J. Faulk 76 5 27 -9 32
N. Gerbe 81 16 15 -6 31
J. Tlusty 68 16 14 2 30
R. Nash 73 10 14 0 24
P. Dwyer 75 8 14 -2 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 19 14 1 .926 2.30
C. Ward 10 12 6 .898 3.06
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