Muller shakes up lines in practice

Posted by Chip Alexander on October 14, 2013 

Disappointed by his team’s play Sunday in a 5-3 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, Canes coach Kirk Muller made some changes Monday in practice.

Tuomo Ruutu was moved to the top line with Eric Staal and Alex Semin, replacing Jiri Tlusty, who was shifted to Jordan Staal’s line opposite winger Nathan Gerbe. Pat Dwyer moved from Jordan Staal’s line to Riley Nash’s line with Jeff Skinner. Radek Dvorak, who had been on Nash’s line, worked with fourth-liners Drayson Bowman, Brett Sutter and Kevin Westgarth.

Ruutu was activated off injured reserve before Sunday’s game and started on the fourth line. He had 10:33 of ice time and was used at times on the power play.

“I just wanted to see a different look today and experiment in practice,” Muller said. “We’ll make probably the decisions tomorrow but it’s kind of to see if it makes sense to make a couple of little changes without doing a major overhaul.”

Muller said he kept certain forward pairings together: Eric Staal and Semin, Jordan Staal and Gerbe. Nash and Skinner.

Assistant equipment manager Jorge Alves served as the only goalie in practice. Anton Khudobin is injured and Muller said Cam Ward was given the day off.

The Canes host the Chicago Blackhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champions, on Tuesday at PNC Arena.

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