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Hurricanes activate Pitkanen from IR

Mar 2, 2013, 2:14 PM EDT

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Joni Pitkanen AP

The Hurricanes defense is about to improve.

Carolina activated veteran defenseman Joni Pitkanen from injured reserve after missing seven games with a lower-body injury. Carolina went 3-4-0 in his absence and had a steady shuffle of blue liners being called up from AHL Charlotte to try and make things work.

In 12 games this year, Pitkanen has one goal and five assists as well as a team-leading plus-8 plus/minus rating. Now that he and fellow veteran Tim Gleason are back, the Hurricanes will set their eyes on taking back sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division.

While Pitkanen was out, the Winnipeg Jets have jumped into a first-place tie with Carolina while Tampa Bay sits two points back heading into today’s action.

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