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Streaking ‘Canes return captain Staal, Tlusty and Nash vs. Calgary

Jan 13, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT

RALEIGH, NC - DECEMBER 27: Eric Staal #12 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PNC Arena on December 27, 2013 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Penguins defeated the Hurricanes 4-3. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) Getty Images

Winners in five of their last six, the Carolina Hurricanes kick off a three-game homestand tonight against the Flames — and they’ll do it in style.

Captain Eric Staal, out since Jan. 4 with an injury, will return to the lineup, as will forwards Jiri Tlusty (appendectomy) and Riley Nash (lower body), according to ‘Canes web producer Michael Smith.

Staal, tied with Jeff Skinner for the club’s scoring lead with 35 points, has recovered sufficiently enough from his lower-body ailment to help the ‘Canes in their playoff push. Despite a setback in Columbus on Saturday (3-0 loss), the ‘Canes — who were 14-16-9 on Dec. 29 — have pushed to within two points of Detroit for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and three back of the Rangers for third in the Metropolitan Division.

Tlusty, who scored a career-high 23 goals last year, has just 10 points through 37 games this year but will add depth to a forward group that’s been banged up as of late. Nash, a former first-round pick, seems to have found his niche in Carolina as a two-way checking forward — he’s notched a career-high 10 points this season and was averaging nearly 12 minutes per game prior to getting hurt.

  1. lonespeed - Jan 13, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    One game out of the playoffs today. One game from the Stanley Cup in four-months.

    Jeff Skinner soon to be hoister of the Conn Smythe.

    • ibieiniid - Jan 13, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      guy IS on a warpath.

    • stepanup - Jan 13, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      Hey, nice positivity. Skinner’s a hell of a player. It’s nice to see that he’s healthy. Now, feel free to lose tonight. :)

  2. storminator16 - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    Canes brought an uneven effort versus Flames tonight. So many passes not connecting. Eric Staal still doesn’t look right. Meh. Good win for the Flames, they played a good game.

    • storminator16 - Jan 13, 2014 at 9:39 PM

      Also, Ramo has given up only one goal to the Canes in two career games against.

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