Gleason, Lindholm to play; Skinner out

Posted by Chip Alexander on October 25, 2013 

DENVER -- Canes defensemen Tim Gleason will make his season debut and play his 600th career game Friday against the Colorado Avalanche, coach Kirk Muller said.

Gleason, who sustained a concussion in a preseason game, won't be the only lineup change. Defenseman Mike Komisarek also will play, as will rookie forward Elias Lindholm.

Muller said forward Jeff Skinner, who suffered an upper-body injury Thursday against the Minnesota Wild, was "day to day" and would not play. Muller was not sure if Skinner would be available for the Monday game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Raleigh, but didn’t rule him out, either.

Muller said defenseman Brett Bellemore has a lower-body injury. Defenseman Jay Harrison will be a healthy scratch tonight.

"We've got fresh guys, veteran defensemen, and at the end of day we just said, hey, we're coming in here to win a hockey game," Muller said. "The bottom line is we played well last night but we didn't win. I thought we were the better team in the second and third but didn't get a point."

The Canes lost goaltender Cam Ward to a lower-body injury early in the Wild game. Justin Peters was rushed into the game and allowed two quick goals, and the Wild went on to a 3-1 win.

"We're not going to make excuses," Muller said. "Injuries are part of the game and we're going to throw together a group of guys tonight who are good enough to win a hockey game."

Skinner has suffered concussions each of the past two seasons, but the injury against the Wild is not concussion-related. Skinner skated Friday at the Pepsi Center with Pat Dwyer and Harrison.

Muller said Lindholm, who has been out with a shoulder injury, would center Brett Sutter and Kevin Westgarth. Muller said Drayson Bowman would replace Skinner on Riley Nash's line.

Peters will be in net for his first start since the regular-season finale against the Pens last season.

"We went to the group and said let's find a way to win tonight," Muller said. "Let's do it with a good, gutsy effort. And we're playing well. I think if we play the same as last night we're in good shape again. But we've got to find a way to win the hockey game."

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